Skip to main content

Full text of "The mission and expansion of Christianity in the first three centuries"

See other formats

9 91£59010 1911 ξ 



aie 2 

A Ψ' Mi ps 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2007 with funding from 
Microsoft Corporation 








Translated and edited by 


VOL. I bee 




Dr Harnack opened the course of lectures which have been 
translated in this library under the title What is Christianity ? 
with a reference to John Stuart Mill. The present work might 
also be introduced by a sentence from the same English thinker. 
In the second chapter of his essay upon “ Liberty,” he has 
occasion to speak with admiration and regret of the Emperor 
Marcus Aurelius, confessing that his persecution of the 
| Christians seems “one of the most tragical facts in all history.” 
| “It is a bitter thought,” he adds, “how different a thing the 
Christianity of the world might have been, if the Christian 
faith had been adopted as the religion of the empire under the 
auspices of Marcus Aurelius instead of those of Constantine.” 
Aurelius representsthe-apex of paganism during the first three_ 
‘centuries of our era. Chronologically, too, he stands almost 
equidistant between Christ and Constantine. But there were 
reasons why the adjustment of the empire to Christianity could 
not come earlier than the first quarter of the fourth century, 
and it is Dr Harnack’s task in the present work to outline these 
reasons in so far as they are connected with the extension and 
expansion of Christianity itself. How did the new religion 
come to win official recognition from the state in a.p. 325? 
“Why then? Why not till then? Such is the problem set to 
the historian of the Christian propaganda by the ante-Nicene 
period. He has to explain how and why and where, within less 
than three centuries, an Oriental religious movement which was 
riginally a mere ripple on a single wave of dissent in the wide 
a of paganism, rose into a breaker which swept before it the 
ested interests, prejudices, traditions, and authority of the most 
jwerful social and political organization that the world hitherto 


had known. The main causes and courses of this transition, © 
with all that it involves of the inner life and worship of the 
religion, form Dr Harnack’s topic in these pages. 

In editing the book for an English audience I have slightly 
enlarged the index and added a list of New Testament passages 
referred to. Wherever a German or French book cited by the 
author has appeared in an English dress, the corresponding 
reference has been subjoined. Also, in deference to certain 
suggestions received by the publishers, I have added, wherever 
it has been advisable to do so, English versions of the Greek — 
and Latin passages which form so valuable and characteristic a 
feature of Dr Harnack’s historical discussions. It is hoped 
that the work may be thus rendered more intelligible and : 
inviting than ever to that wider audience whose interest in 
early Christianity is allied to little or no Greek and Latin. 

The first edition of this translation was issued in 1904— 1905, : 
and the first volume is now out of print. Meanwhile, Dr_ : 
Harnack published, in 1906, a new edition of the original in” 
two volumes, which has been so thoroughly revised and enlarged 
that, with its additions and omissions, it forms practically a 
new work. His own preface to the second edition gives no | 
adequate idea of the care and skill with which nearly every 
page has been gone over in order to fill up any gaps and bring 
the work up to date. The present version has been made 
directly from this edition. I have taken the opportunity of 
correcting some misprints which crept into the first edition of 
my translation, and it is hoped that English readers will 
now be able to find easy access to this standard history ing 
its final form. 



No monograph has yet been devoted to the mission and spread | 

of the Christian religion during the first three centuries of our | 
era, For the earliest period of church history we have sketches 
of the historical development of dogma and of the relation 
of the church to the state—the latter including Neumann’s 
excellent volume. But the missionary history has always been 
neglected, possibly because writers have been discouraged by the 
difficulty of bringing the material to the surface and getting 
it arranged, or by the still more formidable difficulties of 
collecting and sifting the geographical data and statistics. The 
following pages are a first attempt, and for it I bespeak a 
: kindly judgment. My successors, of whom there will be no 
lack, will be able to improve upon it. 

I have one or two preliminary remarks to make, by way of 

The primitive history of the chisrch’s missions lies buried in 
legend; or rather, it has been replaced by a history (which is 
strongly marked by tendency) of what is alleged to have 
happened in the course of a few decades throughout every 
country on the face of the earth. The composition of this 
_ history has gone on for more than a thousand years. ‘The 
| formation of legends in connection with the apostolic mission, 
_ which commenced as early as the first century, was still thriving 
in the Middle Ages; it thrives, in fact, down to the present 
: day. But the worthless character of this history is now recog- 
᾿ thised on all sides, and in the present work I have hardly 
_ touched upon it, since I have steadily presupposed the results 



gained by the critical investigation of the sources. Whatever 
item from the apocryphal Acts, the local and provincial legends 

of the church, the episcopal lists, and the Acts of the martyrs, — 

has not been inserted or noticed in these pages, has been 
deliberately omitted as useless. On the other hand, I have 
aimed at exhaustiveness in the treatment of reliable material. 

It is only the Acts and traditions of the martyrs that present — 

any real difficulty, and from such sources this or that city may 

probably fall to be added to my lists. Still, the number οὗ 

such addenda must be very small. Inscriptions, unfortunately, 
almost entirely fail us. Dated Christian inscriptions from the 
pre-Constantine age are rare, and only in the case of a few 
groups can we be sure that an undated inscription belongs to 
the third and not to the fourth century. Besides, the Christian 
origin of a very numerous class is merely a matter of conjecture, 
which cannot at present be established. 

As the apostolic age of the church, in its entire sweep, falls 
within the purview of the history of Christian missions, some 
detailed account of this period might be looked for in these 
pages. No such account, however, will be found. For such a 
discussion one may turn to numerous works upon the subject, 
notably to that of Weizsicker. After his labours, I had no 
intention of once more depicting Paul the missionary; I 
have simply confined myself to the general characteristics of 

the period. What is set down here must serve as its own — 

justification. It appeared to me not unsuitable, under the 
circumstances, to attempt to do some justice to the problems 

in a series of longitudinal sections; thereby I hoped to avoid | 

: repetitions, and, above all, to bring out the main currents and 

forces of the Christian religion coherently and clearly. The — 

separate chapters have been compiled in such a way that each — 

may be read by itself; but this has not impaired the unity of 
the whole work, I hope. 

The basis chosen for this account of the early history οὗ 
Christian missions is no broader than my own general knowledge — 
of history and of religion—which is quite slender. My book — 
contains no information upon the history of Greek or Romaia 
religion; it has no light to throw on primitive myths and later 




cults, or on matters of law and of administration. On such 
_ topies other scholars are better informed than I am. For 
many years it has been my sole endeavour to remove the 
barriers between us, to learn from my colleagues whatever is 
indispensable to a correct appreciation of such phenomena as 
they appear inside the province of church history, and to avoid 
_ presenting derived material as the product of original research. 
With regard to ancient geography and statistics, I have © 
noticed in detail, as the pages of my book will indicate, all 
_ relevant investigations. Unfortunately, works on the statistics 
of ancient population present results which are so contradictory 
as to be useless; and at the last I almost omitted the whole of 
these materials in despair. All that I have actually retained 
_ is a scanty residue of reliable statistics in the opening chapter 
_ of Book I. and in the concluding paragraphs. In identifying 
towns and localities I have followed the maps in the Corpus 
_ Inscriptionum Latmarum, the small maps in the fifth volume 
of Mommsen’s Roman History, Kiepert’s Formae orbis antiqua 
_ (so far as these have appeared), and some other geographical 
guides; no place which I have failed to find in these authorities 
has been inserted in my pages without some note or comment, 
the only exception being a few suburban villages. I had 
originally intended to furnish the book with maps, but as I 
went on I had reluctantly to abandon this idea. Maps, I was 
obliged to admit, would give a misleading impression of the 
actual situation. For one thing, the materials at our disposal 
for the various provinces up to 325 a.p. are too unequal, and 
little would be gained by merely marking the towns in which 
Christians can be shown to have existed previous to Constantine ; 
nor could I venture to indicate the density of the Christian 
_ population by means of colours. Maps cannot be drawn for any 
_ period earlier than the fourth century, and it is only by aid of 
these fourth-century maps that the previous course of the history 
can be viewed in retrospect.—The demarcation of the provinces, 
| Ὁ the alterations which took place in their boundaries, 
ξ δῖ rmed a subject into which I had hardly any occasion to enter. 
me account of the history of church-organization could not 
2 e entirely omitted, but questions of organization have only 


been introduced where they were unavoidable. My aim, as a rule, 
_ has been to be as brief as possible, to keep strictly within the 
limits of my subject, and never to repeat answers to any settled 
questions, either for the sake of completeness or of convenience 
to my readers. ‘The history of the expansion of Christianity 
within the separate provinces has merely been sketched in 

outline. Anyone who desires further details must, of course, — 

~ excavate with Ramsay in Phrygia and the French savants in 
Africa, or plunge with Duchesne into the ancient episcopal 
lists, although for the first three hundred years the results all 
over this field are naturally meagre. 

The literary sources available for the history of primitive 
Christian missions are fragmentary. But how extensive they 
are, compared to the extant sources at our disposal for investi- 
gating the history of any other religion within the Roman 
empire! They not only render it feasible for us to attempt a 
sketch of the mission and expansion of Christianity which shall 
_ be coherent and complete in all its essential features, but also 
- permit us to understand the reasons why this religion triumphed 
in the Roman empire, and how the triumph was achieved. At 
the same time, a whole series of queries remains unanswered, 

including those very questions that immediately occur to the 

mind of anyone who looks attentively into the history of 
Christian missions. 

Several of my earlier studies in the history of Christian 
missions have been incorporated in the present volume, in an 
expanded and improved form. These I have noted as they 
occur. . 

I must cordially thank my honoured friend Professor 
Imelmann for the keen interest he has taken in these pages 

as they passed through the press. 

Bern, Sept. 4, 1902. 


—_  υ 


Tuer second edition is about ten sheets larger than the first, 
six of these extra sheets falling within Book IV. The number 
of fresh places where I have been able to verify the existence of 
Christianity prior to Constantine is infinitesimally small; my 
critics have not been able to increase the list. But I have tried 
to put more colour into the description of the spread of the 
religion throughout the various provinces, and also to incor- 
porate several out-of-the-way passages. Several new sections 
have been added; the excursus on the “ Alleged Council of 
Antioch,” at the close of the first book, has been omitted as 
superfluous, however, though not as erroneous. After my dis- 
claimer in the preface to the first edition, some may be surprised 
to find that maps are now added. What determined me to 
take this step was the number of requests for them, based 
invariably on the opinion that the majority of readers cannot 
form any idea of the diffusion of Christianity unless they have 
maps, while the ordinary maps of the ancient world require 
detailed study in order to be of any use for this special purpose. 
Consequently, I have overcome my scruples and drawn the 
eleven maps which are appended to the second volume. 1 
attach most importance to the attempt which I have made in 
the second map. It was a venture, but it sums up all the 
results of my work, and without it the following maps would 
__ be misleading, since they all depend more or less upon incidental 
_ information about the period. 
The index I have worked over again myself. 

Beri, Dec. 1, 1905. 





_ Cuaprer I. Jupaism: irs Dirrusion anp Limits -. : 1-18 


Reiicious SYNCRETISM , Σ ᾿ ‘ ‘ .. 94—35 

 Cuaprer IV. Jesus Curisr ΑΝῸ THE Universat Mission. 36-43 

GENTILE Mission 2 : ; : ’ ; . 44-72 

' Carrer VI. Resutts or THE Mission oF PAUL AND OF 
THE First MIssIoNARIES . ΐ : : : stereo 


Se ote eS Re Bee BS 

Cuaprer 1. THe Rericious CHARACTERISTICS OF THE 
᾿ς Misston-PREACHING : . : bon thes . 86-100 


| Satvation , ΄, ‘ 3 ἢ ‘ ν . 101-124 

 Cuaprer II. Tue Extrernat ConpiTIons oF THE WorLp- 
3 19-23 ia 





Cuaprer III. Tue Conriicr with Demons. : . 125-146 

Cuaprer IV. Tue Gospet or Love aNp Cuarity . . 147-198 

or Morat EarNestTNEss AND HOLINEss p : . 199-218 

Cuaprer VI. Tue Revicion or AUTHORITY AND OF REASON, 

Cuapter VII. Tue Tipines or THE New PEOPLE AND OF 
THE Tuirp Race: THE HistToricaL AND POLITICAL 

Excursus. CurisTiANs As A TurrD Rack, IN THE 

Cuaprer VIII. Tue Renicgion or aA Book AND A 
Historica, ReaLizATION . : : : : . 279-289 

Cuapter IX. Tue Conruicr with PoLYTHEISM AND 
IDOLATRY . ; 7 < : . : ; . 290-31 

SYNCRETISTIC RELIGION : ; : : . 312-318 


Cuaprer J. Tue Curistran' Missionaries (APOSTLES, 
MISSIONARIES). : . ; . 4 : . 319-368 


AND LITERATURE : : Η : . 369-380 | 

Cuapter II. Meruops or THE Mission: CaTECHIZING AND . 

ΒΑΡΤΙΒΜ, THE INvAsion oF Domestic Lire . : . 881-598. 
Cuapter III. Tur Names or CurisTIAN BELIEVERS . . 899-418 
Excursus I. Frienps (οἱ φίλοι) ; .. 419-421 

Excursus II. Curistian NAMES ᾿ 2 r . 422-430 



᾿ς ΜΌΝΙΤΥ, AS BEARING UPON THE CurisTIAN Mission. 431-444 ~ 

___Excursus I. EcciestasticAL ORGANISATION AND THE 

____Excursus II. Tue Caruotic ConreDERATION AND THE 

ie Mission. : , ᾿ ir . 483-484 
, Excursus III. THe Primacy or Rome IN RELATION. ; 
᾿ ΤῸ THE -MIssIoN ; : . 485-486 
TER V. CounTeR-MovEMENTsS . ς . 487-513 ¢ 
DDENDA x ‘ Σ : : . 5 ; Fi pR® 
i . 


| | 



af wi ie ” as 
τ i oa γε 

-»- - 

, we ae ν 
; mt Se ep 
ee apa rE se, 2 

_ Mission and Expansion of Christianity 

in the First Three Centuries 




‘To nascent Christianity the synagogues in the Diaspora meant 
_ more than the fontes persecutionum of Tertullian’s complaint ; 
_ they also formed the most important presupposition for the rise 
_ and growth of Christian communities throughout the empire. 
_ The network of the synagogues furnished the Christian propa- 
_ ganda with centres and courses for its development, and in this 
_ way the mission of the new religion, which was undertaken in 
_ the name of the God of Abraham and Moses, found a sphere 
_ already prepared for itself. 

_ Surveys of the spread of Judaism at the opening of our 
_ period have been often made, most recently and with especial 
care by Schiirer (Geschichte des jiidischen Volkes, Bd. TI. 
pp. 1-38 ; Eng. trans., II. ii. 220 f.). Here we are concerned 
with the following points : 

_ (1) There were Jews in most of the Roman provinces, at any 
_ rate in all those which touched or adjoined the Mediterranean, 
to say nothing of the Black Sea ; eastward also, beyond sy Sig 

1 The conversion of the royal family of Adiabene (on the Tigris, at the frontier 
f the Roman Empire and of Parthia) to Judaism, during the reign of Claudius, 
= VOL, 1. I 


(2) Their numbers were greatest in Syria,’ next to that in 
Egypt (in all the nomes as far as Upper Egypt),” Rome, and 
the provinces of Asia Minor.’ 'The extent to which they had 

is a fact of special moment in the history of the spread of Judaism, and Josephus 
gives it due prominence. A striking parallel, a century and a half later, is 
afforded by the conversion of the royal house of Edessa to Christianity. Renan 
(Les Apétres, ch. xiv.) is not wrong when he remarks, in his own way, that “‘ the 
royal family of Adiabene belongs to the history of Christianity.” He does not 
mean to say, with Orosius (vii, 6) and Moses of Chorene (ii. 35), that they actually — 
became Christians, but simply that ‘“‘in embracing Judaism, they obeyed a senti- 
ment which was destined to bring over the entire pagan world to Christianity.” 
A further and striking parallel to the efforts of Queen Helena of Adiabene (cp. Jos., — 
Antig., xx. 2f.; B./J., v. 2-4, v. 6. I, vi. 6, 3) is to be found in the charitable 
activity of Constantine’s mother, Queen Helena, in Jerusalem. Possibly the latter 
took the Jewish queen as her model, for Helena of Adiabene’s philanthropy was 
still remembered in Jerusalem and by Jews in general (cp. Eus., H.Z., ii. 12,and — 
the Talmudic tradition).—Comprehensive evidence for the spread of Judaism 
throughout the empire lies in Philo (Zegat. 36 and Fiacc. 7), Acts (ii. 9 f.), and — 
Josephus (Be//., ii. 16. 4, vii. 3. 33 Apéon, ii, 39). The statement of Josephus 
(οὐκ ἔστιν ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκουμένης δῆμος 6 wh μοῖραν ἡμετέραν ἔχων : ‘‘there is no 
people in the world which does not contain some part of us”) had been anticipated — 
more than two centuries earlier by a Jewish Sibylline oracle (.526, ovac., iii. 271 
πᾶσα δὲ γαῖα σέθεν πλήρης Kal πᾶσα θάλασσα : ‘‘every land and sea is filled with 
thee”). By 139-138 B.c. a decree for the protection of Jews had been issued by 
the Roman Senate to the kings of Egypt, Syria, Pergamum, Cappadocia and | 
Parthia, as well as to Sampsamé (Amisus?), Sparta, Sicyon (in the Peloponnese), 
Delos, Samos, the town of Gortyna, Caria and Myndus, Halicarnassus and | 
Cnidus, Cos and Rhodes, the province of Lycia together with Phaselis, Pamphilia _ 
with Sidé, the Phoenician town Aradus, Cyrene and Cyprus. By the time οὔ 
Sulla, Strabo had written thus (according to Josephus, Avzizg., xiv. 7. 2): εἰς 
πᾶσαν πόλιν ἤδη παρεληλύθει, καὶ τόπον οὐκ ἔστι ῥᾳδίως εὑρεῖν τῆς οἰκουμένης ds 
ov παραδέδεκται τοῦτο τὸ φῦλον μηδ᾽ ἐπικρατεῖται ὕπ᾽ αὐτοῦ (‘* They have now got — 
into every city, and it is hard to find a spot on earth which has not admitted this _ 
tribe and come under their control”). For the intensive spread of Judaism, 
Seneca’s testimony (cited by Augustine, De Czvzt, Dez, vi. 11) is particularly in-— 
structive : cum interim usque eo sceleratissimae gentis consuetudo valuit, ut per 
omnes iam terras recepta sit; victi victoribus leges dederunt (‘‘ Meantime the 
customs of this most accursed race have prevailed to such an extent that they _ 
are everywhere received. The conquered have imposed their laws on the con- | 
querors”). Justin declares that ‘‘there are nations in which not one of your race 
[z.e. of the Jews] can be found” (ἔστι τὰ ἔθνη ἐν οἷς οὐδέπω οὐδεὶς ὑμῶν τοῦ γένους 
ᾧκησεν, Dial, 117), but the following claim that there were Christians in every Ὁ 
nation shows that his statement is due to tendency. | 

1 The large number of Jews in Antioch is particularly striking. | 

2 For the diffusion of Jews in 5. Arabia, cp, Philostorgius’s important evidence 
(H.Z., iii. 4). The local population, he avers, οὐκ ὀλίγον πλῆθος Ἰουδαίων. 

3 Philo, Legat. 33: Ἰουδαῖοι καθ᾽ ἑκάστην πόλιν εἰσὶ παμπληθεῖς ᾿Ασίας τε καὶ 
Συρίας (‘‘ The Jews abound in every city of Asia and Syria”), The word ‘‘ every” 


_ made their way into all the local conditions is made particularly 
_ clear by the evidence bearing on the sphere last named, where, 
as on the north coast of the Black Sea, Judaism also played 
some part in the blending of religions (e.g., the cult of “The 
most high God,” and of the God called “Sabbatistes”). The 
same holds true of Syria, though the evidence here is not taken 
so plainly from direct testimony, but drawn indirectly from 
the historical presuppositions of Christian gnosticism.! In 
Africa, along the coast-line, from the proconsular province to 
Mauretania, Jews were numerous.” At Lyons, in the time of 
Trenzeus,* they do not seem to have abounded ; but in southern 
Gaul, as later sources indicate, their numbers cannot have been 
small, whilst in Spain, as is obvious from the resolutions of the 
synod of Elvira (c. 300 a.p.), they were both populous and 
powerful. Finally, we may assume that in Italy—apart from 
Rome and Southern Italy, where they were widely spread—they 

(ἑκάστην) is confirmed by a number of special testimonies, ¢.g. for Cilicia by 
Epiphanius (Her., xxx, 11), who says of the ‘“‘apostle” sent by the Jewish 
patriarch to collect the Jewish taxes in Cilicia: ὃς ἀνελθὼν ἐκέισε ἀπὸ ἑκάστης 
πόλεως τῆς Κιλικίας τὰ ἐπιδέκατα κτλ εἰσέπραττεν (‘‘On his arrival there he 
proceeded to lift the tithes, etc., from every city in Cilicia”), On the spread of 
Judaism in Phrygia and the adjoining provinces (even into the districts of the 
interior), see Ramsay’s two great works, Zhe Citves and Bishoprics of Phrygia, and 
The Historical Geography of Asia Minor, along with his essay in the Exfosztor 
(January 1902) on ‘‘ The Jews in the Greco-Asiatic Cities.” Wherever any con- 
siderable number of inscriptions are found in these regions, some of them are 
always Jewish. The rdle played by the Jewish element in Pisidian Antioch is 
shown by Acts xiii.; see especially verses 44 and 50 (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι παρώτρυναν τὰς 
 σεβομένας γυναῖκας τὰς ἐυσχήμονας καὶ τοὺς πρώτους τῆς πόλεως). And the 
significance of the Jewish element in Smyrna comes out conspicuously in the 
martyrdom of Polycarp and of Pionius; on the day of a Jewish festival the 
appearance of the streets was quite changed. ‘‘The diffusion and importance 
of the Jews in Asia Minor are attested among other things by the attempt made 
_ during the reign of Augustus, by the Ionian cities, apparently after joint counsel, 
_ to compel their Jewish fellow-townsmen to abandon their faith or else to assume 
ἵ ‘the full burdens of citizenship” (Mommsen, Rom. Gesch., v. pp. 489 f., Eng. 
trans. Provinces, ii. 163). 
_ 1 Cp. also the remarks of Epiphanius (Wer., Ixxx. 1) upon the cult of 

2 See Monceaux, ‘‘ les colonies juives dans l’Afrique romaine” (Rev. des Etudes 
bo pees’, 1902); and Leclerq, L’ Afrique chrétienne (1904), I. pp. 36 f. We have 
evidence for Jewish communities at Carthage, Naro, Hadrumetum, Utica, Hippo, 
| Simittu, Volubilis, Cirta, Auzia, Sitifis, Caesarea, Tipasa, and Oea, etc. 

3 To all appearance, therefore, he knew no Jewish Christians at first hand. 


were not exactly numerous under the early empire, although 
even in Upper Italy at that period individual synagogues were 
in existence. This feature was due to the history of Italian 
civilization, and it is corroborated by the fact that, beyond 
Rome and Southern Italy, early Jewish inscriptions are scanty 
and uncertain. “The Jews were the first to exemplify that — 
kind of patriotism which the Parsees, the Armenians, and to — 
some extent the modern Greeks were to display in later ages, ' 

viz. a patriotism of extraordinary warmth, but not attached to 
any one locality, a patriotism of traders who wandered up and ~ 
down the world and everywhere hailed each other as brethren, a 
patriotism which aimed at forming not great, compact states but — 
small, autonomous communities under the egis of other states.” ἢ | 
(3) The exact number of Jews in the Diaspora can only be — 
calculated roughly. Our information with regard to figures 
is as follows. Speaking of the Jews in Babylonia, Josephus — 
declares there were “not a few myriads,” or “innumerable | 
myriads” in that region.2. At Damascus, during the great war, | 
he narrates (Bell. Jud., ii. 20. 2) how ten thousand Jews were | 
massacred ; elsewhere in the same book (vii. 8. 7) he writes | 
“eighteen thousand.” Of the five civic quarters of Alexandria, | 
two were called “the Jewish” (according to Philo, Jn Filacc. 8), 
since they were mainly inhabited by Jews; in the other quarters — 
Jews were also to be met with, and Philo (Jn Flacc. 6) reckons | 


their total number in Egypt (as far as the borders of Ethiopia) 
to have been at least 100 myriads (=a million). In the time © 
of Sulla the Jews of Cyrene, according to Strabo (cited by 
Josephus, Antig., xiv. 7. 2), formed one of the four classes into | 
which the population was divided, the others being citizens, | 
peasants, and resident aliens. During the great rebellion in | 
Trajan’s reign they are said to have slaughtered 220,000 un- | 
believers in Cyrene (Dio Cassius, xviii. 32), in revenge for | 
which “many myriads” of their own number were put to death 
by Marcus Turbo (Euseb., H.E., iv. 2). The Jewish revolt 
spread also to Cyprus, where 240,000 Gentiles are said to have 

1 Renan, Les Apédtres (ch. xvi.). 
2 Antiq., xv. 3. 1, xi. 5. 2. According to Amitzg., xii. 3. 4, Antiochus the Great 
deported 2000 families of Babylonian Jews to Phrygia and Lydia. 

ll a Be 5 rs ga a 
sears ae 


been murdered by them.! As for the number of Jews in Rome, 

we have these two statements: first, that in B.c. 4 a Jewish 

embassy from Palestine to the metropolis was joined by 8000 
- local Jews (Joseph., Antig., xvii. 2. 1; Bell., ii. 6. 1); and 
secondly, that in 19 a.p., when Tiberius banished the whole 
Jewish community from Rome, 4000 able-bodied Jews were 
deported to Sardinia. The latter statement merits especial 
attention, as it is handed down by Tacitus as well as Josephus.’ 
After the fall of Sejanus, when Tiberius revoked the edict 
(Philo, Legat. 24), the Jews at once made up their former 
numbers in Rome (Dio Cassius, lx. 6, πλεονάσαντες αὖθις) ; the 
movement for their expulsion reappeared under Claudius in 
49 a.p., but the enforcement of the order looked to be so risky 
that it was presently withdrawn and limited to a prohibition of 
religious gatherings. In Rome the Jews dwelt chiefly in 

1 Dio Cassius (/oc. cét.). The same author declares (Ixix. 14) that 580,000 Jews 
perished in Palestine during the rebellion of Barcochba. 
3 There is a discrepancy between them, Whilst Josephus (Av/ézz., xviii. 3. 5) 
mentions only Jews, Tacitus (Amma/., ii. 85) writes: ‘‘ Actum et de sacris 
_ Aegyptiis Judaicisque pellendis factumque patrum consultum, ut quattuor milia 
libertini generis ea superstitione infecta, quis idonea aetas, in insulam Sardiniam 
veherentur, coercendis illic latrociniis et, si ob gravitatem caeli interissent, vile 
damnum ; ceteri cederent Italia, nisi certam ante diem profanos ritus exuissent ” 
(‘‘ Measures were also adopted for the extermination of Egyptian and Jewish rites, 
and the Senate passed a decree that four thousand freedmen, able-bodied, who 
were tainted with that superstition, should be deported to the island of Sardinia to 
put a check upon the local brigands. Should the climate kill them ’twould be no 
great loss! As for the rest, they were to leave Italy unless they abjured their 
profane rites by a given day”). The expulsion is also described by Suetonius 
(7iber. 36): ‘‘ Externas caeremonias, Aegyptios Judaicosque ritus compescuit, 
coactis qui superstitione ea tenebantur religiosas vestes cum instrumento omni 
comburere. Judaeorum juventutem per speciem sacramenti in provincias gravioris 
caeli distribuit, reliquos gentis eiusdem vel similia sectantes urbe summovit, sub 
poena perpetuae servitutis nisi obtemperassent” (‘‘ Foreign religions, including 
the rites of Egyptians and Jews, he suppressed, forcing those who practised that 
Superstition to burn their sacred vestments and all their utensils. He scattered 
_the Jewish youth in provinces of an unhealthy climate, on the pretext of military 
Service, whilst the rest of that race or of those who shared their practices were 
_ expelled from Rome, the penalty for disobedience being penal servitude for life’’). 
; * The sources here are contradictory. Acts (xviii. 2), Suetonius (C/aud. 25), 
_ and Orosius (vii, 6. 15)—the last named appealing by mistake to Josephus, who 
_ Says nothing about the incident—all speak of a formal (and enforced) edict of 
“4 expulsion, but Dio Cassius (lx. 6) writes: rods re Ἰουδαίους πλεονάσαντας αὖθις, 
ὥστε χαλεπῶς ἂν ἄνευ ταραχῆς ὑπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου σφῶν τῆς πόλεως εἰρχθῆναι, οὐκ 
ἐξήλασε μέν, τῷ δὲ δὴ πατρίῳ βίῳ χρωμένους ἐκέλευσε. μὴ συναθροίζεσθαι (“ As 


Trastevere ; but as Jewish churchyards have been discovered in 
various parts of the city, they were also to be met with in other 
quarters as well. 

A glance at these numerical statements shows! that only two 
possess any significance. The first is Philo’s, that the Egyptian 
Jews amounted to quite a million. Philo’s comparatively precise 
mode of expression (οὐκ ἀποδέουσι μυριάδων ἑκατὸν οἱ τὴν 
᾿Αλεξαάνδρειαν καὶ τὴν χώραν Ἰουδᾶᾷιοι κατοικοῦντες ἀπὸ τοῦ πρὸς 
Λιβύην καταβαθμοῦ μέχρι τῶν ὁρίων Αἰθιοπίας : “The Jews 
resident in Alexandria and in the country from the descent to 
Libya back to the bounds of Ethiopia, do not fall short of a 
million”), taken together with the fact that registers for the 
purpose of taxation were accurately kept in Egypt, renders it 
probable that we have here to do with no fanciful number. 
Nor does the figure itself appear too high, when we consider that 
it includes the whole Jewish population of Alexandria. As the 
entire population of Egypt (under Vespasian) amounted to 
seven or eight millions, the Jews thus turn out to have formed 
a seventh or an eighth of the whole (somewhere about thirteen 

νυ Ψψυ.- 

per cent.).2. Syria is the only province of the empire where we 

the Jews had once more multiplied, so that it would have been difficult to remove 

them without a popular riot, he did not expel them, but simply prohibited any — 

gatherings of those who held to their ancestral customs”). We have no business, _ 

in my opinion, to use Dio Cassius in order to set aside two such excellent witnesses 
as Luke and Suetonius. Nor is it a satisfactory expedient to suppose, with 
Schiirer (III. p. 32; cp. Eng. trans., II. ii. 237), that the government simply 

intended to expel the Jews. The edict must have been actually issued, although 

it was presently replaced by a prohibition of meetings, after the Jews had given a 
guarantee of good behaviour, 

1 I omit a series of figures given elsewhere by Josephus ; they are not of the 
slightest use. 

2 See Mommsen, dm. Gesch., v. p. 578 (Eng. trans,, ‘‘ Provinces of the 

Roman Empire,” ii. p. 258], and Pietschmann in Pauly-Wissowa’s Zucyk/op., i., 
col. 990 f. Beloch (Die Bevilkerung der griechisch-rimischen Welt, pp. 258 f.) 
questions the reckoning of Josephus (e//., ii. 16. 4) that the population of Egypt 
under Nero amounted to seven and a half millions. He will not allow more than 
about five, though he adduces no conclusive argument against Josephus, Still, 
as he also holds it an exaggeration to say, with Philo, that the Jews in Egypt 
were a million strong, he is not opposed to the hypothesis that Judaism in Egypt 
amounted to about 13 per cent. of the total population, Beloch reckons the 

population of Alexandria (including slaves) at about half a million. Of these, — 
200,000 would be Jews, as the Alexandrian Jews numbered about two-fifths of — 

the whole. 




must assume a higher percentage of Jews among the popu- 

- lation;+ in all the other provinces their numbers were 


The second passage of importance is the statement that 
Tiberius deported four thousand able-bodied Jews to Sardinia— 
Jews, be it noted, not (as Tacitus declares) Egyptians and Jews, 
for the distinct evidence of Josephus on this point is corroborated 
by that of Suetonius (see above), who, after speaking at first of 
Jews and Egyptians, adds, by way of closer definition, “ Judae- 
orum juventatem per speciem sacramenti in provincias gravioris 

-caeli distribuit.” Four thousand able-bodied men answers to a 

total of at least ten thousand human beings,? and something 
like this represented the size of the contemporary Jewish com- 
munity at Rome. Now, of course, this reckoning agrees but 
poorly with the other piece of information, viz., that twenty- 
three years earlier a Palestinian deputation had its ranks swelled 
by 8000 Roman Jews. Either Josephus has inserted the total 
number of Jews in this passage, or he is guilty of serious 
exaggeration. The most reliable estimate of the Roman popu- 
lation under Augustus (in 8.0. 5) gives 320,000 male plebeians 
over ten years of age. As women were notoriously in a minority 
at Rome, this number represents about 600,000 inhabitants 
(excluding slaves), so that about 10,000 Jews * would be equiva- 
lent to about one-sixtieth of the population.’ Tiberius could 
still risk the strong measure of expelling them; but when 

1 Josephus, Bel/., vii. 3. 3: (Τὸ Ἰουδαίων γένος πολὺ μὲν κατὰ πᾶσαν τὴν 
οἰκουμένην παρέσπαρται τοῖς ἐπιχωρίοις, πλεῖστον δὲ τῇ Συρίᾳ: ‘* The Jewish race 
is thickly spread over the world among its inhabitants, but specially in Syria”), 
Beloch (pp. 242 f., 507) estimates the population of Syria under Augustus at about 
six millions, under Nero at about seven, whilst the free inhabitants of Antioch 
under Augustus numbered close on 300,000. As the percentage of Jews in Syria 
(and especially in Antioch) was larger than in Egypt (about 13 per cent.), certainly 
over a million Jews must be assumed for Syria under Nero. 

2 Taking for granted, as in the case of any immigrant population, that the 
number of men is very considerably larger than that of women, I allow 2000 boys 
and old men to 4000 able-bodied men, and assume about 4000 females. 

8 See Beloch, pp. 292 f. His figure, 500,000, seems to me rather low. 

4 Renan (L’ Antéchrist, ch. i.) is inclined to estimate the number of the Roman 
Jews, including women and children, at from twenty to thirty thousand. 

5 The total number, including foreigners and slaves, would amount to some- 
thing between 800,000 and 900,000 (according to Beloch, 800,000 at the out- 
side), : 


Claudius tried to repeat the experiment thirty years later, he 
was unable to carry it out. 

We can hardly suppose that the Jewish community at Rome — 

continued to show any considerable increase after the great 
rebellions and wars under Vespasian, ‘Titus, Trajan, and Hadrian, 
since the decimation of the Jews in many provinces of the 
empire must have re-acted upon the Jewish community in the 
capital. Details on this point, however, are awanting. 

If the Jews in Egypt amounted to about a million, those in 
Syria were still more numerous. Allowing about 700,000 Jews 
to Palestine—and at this moment between 600,000 and 650,000 
people live there; see Baedeker’s Palestine, 1900, p. lvii.we 
are within the mark at all events when we reckon the Jews in 
the remaining districts of the empire (7.¢., in Asia Minor, Greece, 
Cyrene, Rome, Italy, Gaul, Spain, etc.) at about one million and 
a half. In this way a grand total of about four or four and a 

_half million Jews is reached. Now, it is an extremely surprising 
| thing, a thing that seems at first to throw doubt upon any 

estimate whatsoever of the population, to say that while (accord- 
ing to Beloch) the population of the whole Roman empire under 
Augustus is reported to have amounted to nearly fifty-four 
millions, the Jews in the empire at that period must be reckoned 

‘at not less than four or four and a half millions. Even if one 

raises Beloch’s figure to sixty millions, how can the Jews have 
represented seven per cent. of the total population? Either 
our calculation is wrong—and mistakes are almost inevitable in 

|a matter like this—or the propaganda of Judaism was ex- 

tremely successful in the provinces; for it is utterly impossible 
to explain the large total of Jews in the Diaspora by the mere 

2) we ee ἍΔΕ, 

fact of the fertility of Jewish families. We must assume, I ἢ 

imagine, that a very large number of pagans, and in particular — 

of kindred Semites of the lower class, trooped over to the 
religion of Yahweh 1—for the Jews of the Diaspora were genuine 
Jews only to a certain extent. Now if Judaism was actually so 

1 After the edict of Pius, which forbade in the most stringent terms the circum- 
cision of any who had not been born in Judaism (cp, also the previous edict of 
Hadrian), regular secessions must have either ceased altogether or occurred 
extremely seldom ; cp. Orig., c. Ce/s., II. xiii. 





: vigorous throughout the empire as to embrace about seven per 

cent. of the total population under Augustus,! one begins to 

realize its great influence and social importance. And in order, 
to comprehend the propaganda and diffusion of Christianity, it 
is quite essential to understand that the religion under whose 
“shadow” it made its way out into the world, not merely 
contained elements of vital significance but had expanded till 

it embraced a considerable proportion of the world’s population. 

Our survey would not be complete if we did not glance, how- 

ever briefly, at the nature of the Jewish propaganda in ὑπὸ 

empire,” for some part, at least, of her missionary zeal was 

inherited by Christianity from Judaism. As I shall have to- 

refer to this Jewish mission wherever any means employed in 

_ the Christian propaganda are taken over from Judaism, I shall 
_ confine myself in the meantime to some general observations. 

It is surprising that a religion which raised so stout a wall 

_ of partition between itself and all other religions, and which in 
_ practice and prospects alike was bound up so closely with its 

nation, should have possessed a missionary impulse* of such 

vigour and attained so large a measure of success. This is 
not ultimately to be explained by any craving for power or 
ambition ; it is a proof* that Judaism, as a religion, was already 
blossoming out by some inward transformation and becoming a 


_eross between a national religion and a world-religion (confession 

of faith and a church). Proudly the Jew felt that he had some- 

_ thing to say and bring to the world, which concerned all men, 
viz., The one and only spiritual God, creator of heaven and earth, 

1 In modern Germany the Jews number a little over one per cent. of the popula- 
tion ; in Austro-Hungary, four and two-thirds per cent. 
2 Compare, on this point, Schiirer’s description, of. cé¢., ILI.), pp. 102 f. [Eng. 

-trans., IL. ii, 126 4.1. 

® The duty and the hopefulness of missions are brought out in the earliest 

| Jewish Sibylline books. Almost the whole of the literature of Alexandrian 
_ Judaism has an apologetic bent and the instinct of propaganda. 

4 Cp. Bousset’s Die Religion des Judentums im neutest. Zettalter (1903), especially 

; the sections on ‘‘ The Theologians, the Church and the Laity, Women, Confession 
_ (Faith and Dogma), the Synagogue as an Institute of Salvation” (pp. 139-184), 

and the large section devoted to ‘‘ The Faith of the Individual and Theology.” If 

» ἃ popular religion passes into a confession of faith and a church, individual faith 
with all its reach and strain also comes into view together with the church. For 
the propaganda of Judaism in the pagan world, cp. pp. 77 f. 




with his holy moral law. It was owing to the consciousness of 
this (Rom. ii. 19 f.) that he felt missions to be a duty. The 
Jewish propaganda throughout the empire was primarily the pro-— 
clamation of the one and only God, of his moral law, and of his 
judgment; to this everything else became secondary. The 
object in many cases might be pure proselytism (Matt. xxiii. 15), 
but Judaism was quite in earnest in overthrowing dumb idols 
and inducing pagans to recognize their creator and judge, for in 
this the honour of the God of Israel was concerned. 
It is in this light that one must judge a phenomenon which 
is misunderstood so long as we explain it by means of specious — 
analogies—I mean, the different degrees and phases of proselyt-_ 
ism. In other religions, variations of this kind usually proceed — 
from an endeavour to render the moral precepts imposed by the — 
religion somewhat easier for the proselyte. In Judaism this 
tendency never prevailed, at least never outright. On the con- 
trary, the moral demand remained unlowered. As the recognins | 
tion of God was considered the cardinal point, Judaism was in a 
position to depreciate the claims of the cultus and of ceremonies, — 
and the different kinds of Jewish proselytism were almost 
entirely due to the different degrees in which the ceremonial | 
precepts of the Law were observed. The fine generosity of such 
jan attitude was, of course, facilitated by the fact that a man | 
' who let even his little finger be grasped by this religion, thereby | 
became a Jew.! Again, strictly speaking, even a born Jew was 
only a proselyte so soon as he left the soil of Palestine, since 
thereby he parted with the sacrificial system; besides, he was 
unable in a foreign country to fulfil, or at least to fulfil satis- | 
factorily, many other precepts of the Law.? For generations | 
there had been a gradual neutralising of the sacrificial system 
proceeding apace within the inner life of Judaism—even among 
the Pharisees; and this coincided with an historical situation | 
which obliged by far the greater number of the adherents of 
the religion to live amid conditions which had made them 

a ἣν 

1 If he did not, his son did. | 
2 Circumcision, of course, was always a troublesome wall of partition. Born 
Jews, as a rule, laid the greatest stress open it, while pagans submitted to the opera- 

tion with extreme reluctance. | 


strangers for a long period to the sacrificial system. In this 
ἡ way they were also rendered accessible on every side of their 
_ spiritual nature to foreign cults and philosophies, and thus there 
_ originated Persian and Grseco-Jewish religious alloys, several of 
whose phenomena threatened even the monotheistic belief. ‘The 
destruction of the temple by the Romans really destroyed 
nothing ; it may be viewed as an incident organic to the history 
of Jewish religion. When pious people held God’s ways 
at that crisis were incomprehensible, they were but deluding 
For a long while the popular opinion throughout the empire 
_was that the Jews worshipped God without images, and that 
they had no temple. Now, although both of these “ atheistic” 
features might appear to the rude populace even more offensive 
and despicable than circumcision, Sabbath observance, the pro- 
hibition of swine’s flesh, etc., nevertheless they made a deep 
impression upon wide circles of educated people! Thanks to 


these traits, together with its monotheism—for which: the age 

elevated to the rank of philosophy, and inasmuch as it still 
_ continued to be a religion, it exhibited a type of mental and 
spiritual life which was superior to anything of the kind? At 
bottom, there was nothing artificial in a Philo or in a Josephus 
exhibiting Judaism as the philosophic religion, for this kind of 
apologetic corresponded to the actual situation in which they 
found themselves*; it was as the revealed and also the philo- 

1 This rigid exclusiveness in a religion naturally repelled the majority and 
excited frank resentment ; it was somewhat of a paradox, and cannot fail to have 
been felt as obdurately inhuman as well as insolent. Anti-Semitism can be plainly 

traced within the Roman empire from 100 Bc. onwards ; in the first century A.D. 
_ it steadily increased, discharging itself in outbursts of fearful persecution. 
2 It was ripe also for the idea of an individual recompense in the future life, as 
an outcome of the heightened valuation of individual morality in this life, and for 
_ the idea of a judgment passed on the individual thereafter. 
5. £.g., especially to the idealistic schools of popular philosophy. Cp. Wendland, 
_ Philo und die stoisch-kynische Diatribe (1895). 

4 Cp. Friedlinder’s Geschichte der jiidischen Apologetik als Vorgeschichte des 
Christentums, 1903. On the heights of its apologetic, the Jewish religion repre- 
‘sented itself as the idealist philosophy based on revelation (the sacred book), Ζ,6., 
~ materially as ideological rationalism, and formally as supra-rationalism ; it was the 
_ “most satisfying” form of religion, retaining a vitality, a precision, and a certainty 

<< reg 

. . . . . . \ 
was beginning to be ripe?—Judaism seemed as if it were 


sophic religion, equipped with “the oldest book in the world,” — 
that Judaism developed her great propaganda.’ The account 
given by Josephus (Bell., vii. 3. 3) of the situation at Antioch, 
viz., that “the Jews continued to attract a large number of 
the Greeks to their services, making them in a sense part of 
themselves "—this holds true of the Jewish mission in general. — 
The adhesion of Greeks and Romans to Judaism ranged over 
the entire gamut of possible degrees, from the superstitious 
adoption of certain rites up to complete identification. “God- 
fearing” pagans constituted the majority; proselytes (t¢., — 
people who were actually Jews, obliged to keep the whole Law), 
there is no doubt, were comparatively few in number.* Im- — 
mersion was more indispensable than even circumcision as a — 
condition of entrance.‘ 

While all this was of the utmost importance for the Christian _ 
mission which came afterwards, at least equal moment attaches 
to one vital omission in the Jewish missionary preaching: viz., 
that no Gentile, in the first generation at least, could become a 

in its conception of God such as no cognate form of religious philosophy could 
preserve, while at the same time the overwhelming number and the definite 
character of its ‘‘ prophecies ” quelled every doubt. 

1 ** As a philosophical religion Judaism may have attracted one or two cultured 
individuals, but it was as a religious and social community with a life of its own 
that it won the masses.” So Axenfeld, on p, 15 of his study (mentioned below on 
p. 16). Yet even asa religious fellowship with a life of its own, Judaism made a 
philosophic impression—and that upon the uneducated as well as upon the educated, 
I agree with Axenfeld, however, that the Jewish propaganda owed its success not to 
the literary activity of individual Hellenistic Jews, but to the assimilating power i) 
of the communities with their religious life, their strict maintenance of convictions, — 
their recognition of their own interests and their satisfaction of a national pride, as _ 
evidenced in their demand for proselytes to glorify Jehovah. 

2 The keenness of Jewish propaganda throughout the empire during the first 
century—‘‘ the age in which the Christian preaching began its course is the age in 
which the Jewish propaganda reached the acme of its efforts””—is also clear from 
the introduction of the Jewish week and Sabbath throughout the empire; cp. — 
Schiirer, ‘‘ Die siebentagige Woche im Gebrauch der christlichen Kirche der ersten — 
Jahrhunderte” (Zezts. fi die neut, Wiss,, 1905, 40 f.). Many pagans celebrated — 
the Sabbath, just as Jews to-day observe Sunday. | 

3 See Eus., H.£., i. 7, for the extent to which proselytes became fused among 
those who were Jews by birth, | 

4 It must not be forgotten that even in the Diaspora there was exclusiveness and — 
fanaticism. The first persecution of Christians was set afoot by synagogues of the | 
Diaspora in Jerusalem ; Saul was a fanatic Jew of the Diaspora. ; 

a ie eel ρ σῷ 

ane Me ας Se 

Si RES ἐδ ha 


real son of Abraham. His rank before God remained inferior, 
Thus it also remained very doubtful how far any proselyte—to 
say nothing of the “ God-fearing ”—had a share in the glorious 
promises of the future. The religion which repairs this omis-.~ 
sion will drive Judaism from the field." When it proclaims this 
message in its fulness, that the last will be first, that freedom 
from the Law is the normal and higher life, and that the 
observance of the Law, even at its best, is a thing to be 
tolerated and no more, it will win thousands where the previous 
missionary preaching won but hundreds.’ | Yet the propaganda 
of Judaism did not succeed simply by τ high inward worth ; 
the profession of Judaism also conferred great social and politi- 
cal advantages upon its adherents. Compare Schiirer’s sketch 
(op. cit., TH.” pp. 56-90; Eng. trans., II. ii. 243 f.) of the 

1 [ know of no reliable inquiries into the decline and fall of Jewish missions in 
the empire after the second destruction of the temple. It seems to me unquestion- 
_ able that Judaism henceforth slackened her tie with Hellenism, in order to drop it 
_ altogether as time went on, and that the literature of Hellenistic Judaism suddenly 
became very slender, destined ere long to disappear entirely. But whether we are 
_ to see in all this merely the inner stiffening of Judaism, or other causes to boot 
(2.g., the growing rivalry of Christianity), is a question which I do not venture to 
decide. On the repudiation of Hellenism by Palestinian Judaism even prior to the 
first destruction of the temple, see below (p. 16). 
2 A notable parallel from history to the preaching of Paul in its relation to 
_ Jewish preaching, is to be found in Luther’s declaration, that the truly perfect man 
was not a monk, but a Christian living in his daily calling. Luther also ex- 
plained that the last (those engaged in daily business) were the first. —The above 
sketch has been contradicted by Friedlander (in Dr. Bloch’s Oesterr. Wochen- 
schrift, Zentralorgan f. d. ges. Interessen des Judentums, 1902, Nos. 49 f.), 
_ who asserts that proselytes ranked entirely the same as full-blooded Jews. But 
_ Friedlander himself confines this liberal attitude towards proselytes to the 
Judaism of the Greek Diaspora; he refers it to the influence of Hellenism, and 
_ supports it simply by Philo (and John the Baptist). Note also that Philo usually 
holds Jewish pride of birth to be vain, if a man is wicked; in that case, a Jew is 
far inferior to a man of pagan birth. With this limitation of Friedlinder’s, no 
_ objection can be taken to the thesis in question, I myself go still further ; for 
there is no doubt that even before the rise of Christianity the Jews of the Diaspora 
_ allegorised the ceremonial Law, and that this paved the way for the Gentile church’s 
_ freedom from the Law. Only, the question is (i,) whether the strict Judaism of 
_ Palestine, in its obscure origins, was really affected by these softening tendencies, 
{ii.) whether it did not exercise an increasingly strong influence upon Judaism 
_ even in the Diaspora, and (iii.) whether the Judaism of the Diaspora actually 
_ renounced all the privileges of its birth, On the two latter points, I should 
answer in the negative (even with i a to Philo); on the first, however, my 
“reply would be in the affirmative, 

ἡ ἃ 


internal organization of Jewish communities in the Diaspora, of 
their civil position, and of their civic “ isopolity,”! and it will 
be seen how advantageous it was to belong to a Jewish community 
within the Roman empire. No doubt there were circumstances 
under which_a Jew had to endure ridicule and disdain, but this 
injustice was compensated by the ample privileges <i eahanell by 
those who adhered to this religio hcita. If in addition one 
possessed the freedom of a city (which it was not difficult to pro- 
cure) or even Roman citizenship, one occupied a more secure and 
favourable position than the majority of one’s fellow-citizens. 
No wonder, then, that Christians threatened to apostatize to 
Judaism during a persecution,” or that separation from the — 
synagogues had also serious economic consequences for Jews : 
who had become Christians.? | 

One thing further. All religions which made their way into — 
the empire along the channels of intercourse and trade were — 
primarily religions of the city, and remained such for a consider- 
able period. It cannot be said that Judaism in the Diaspora 
was entirely a city-religion; indeed the reverse holds true of 
one or two large provinces. Yet in the main it continued to 
be a city-religion, and we hear little about Jews who were 
settled on the land. 

— λον 


So long as the temple stood, and contributions were paid in 
to it, this formed a link between the Jews of the Diaspora and 

Se aa a ae το δ 

1 The Jewish communities in the Diaspora also formed small states inside the 
state or city: one has only to recollect the civil jurisdiction which they exercised, | 
even to the extent of criminal procedure. As late as the third century we possess, 
with reference to Palestine, Origen’s account (22. ad Afric., xiv.) of the power of 
the Ethnarch (or patriarch), which was so great ‘‘that he differed in no whit | 
from royalty”; ‘‘ legal proceedings also took place privately as enjoined by the i 
Law, and several people were condemned to death, not in open court and yet with 
the cognizance of the authorities.” Similar occurrences would take place in the 
Diaspora. The age of Hadrian and Pius did bring about a terrible retrograde — 
movement ; but afterwards, part of the lost ground was again recovered. | 

2 ‘Proofs ‘of this are not forthcoming, however, in any number. 

8 Owing to their religious and national characteristics, as well as to the fact — 
that they enjoyed legal recognition throughout the empire, the Jews stood out — 
conspicuously from amongst all the other nations included in the Roman state. 
This comes eh most forcibly in the fact that they were even entitled ‘‘ The | 
Second race.” We shall afterwards show that Christians were called the Third — 
race, since Jews already ranked thus as the Second. 

— ee 


Σ᾿ ἂν 


a wee ee 

ee ee 


Palestine. Afterwards, a rabbinical board took the place of 

the priestly college at Jerusalem, which understood how still 

to raise and use these contributions. The board was presided 
over by the patriarch, and the contributions were gathered by 
“apostles” whom he sent out.2, They appear also to have 

_ had additional duties to perform (on which see below). 

To the Jewish mission which preceded it, the Christian 
mission._.was indebted, in the first place, for a field tilled all 
over the empire; in the second place, for religious communities 
already formed everywhere in the towns; thirdly, for what 
Axenfeld calls “the help of materials” furnished by the pre- 
liminary knowledge of the Old Testament, in addition to cate- 

_chetical and liturgical materials which could be employed with- 

out much alteration ; fourthly, for the habit of regular worship 
and a control of private life; fifthly, for an impressive apologetic 

_on behalf of monotheism, historical teleology, and ethics; and 
finally, for the feeling that self-diffusion was a duty. The 

amount of this debt is so large, that one might venture to claim 

the Christian mission as a continuation of the Jewish propa- 
ganda, “Judaism,” said Renan, “ was robbed of its due reward 

by a generation of fanatics, and it was prevented from gathering 

in the harvest which it had prepared.” 

The extent to which Judaism was prepared for the gospel 
may also be judged by means of the syncretism into which it 
had developed. 'The development was along no mere side-issues, 
The transformation of a national into a universal religion may 

take place in two ways: either Biithe national religion being 

reduced to great central principles, or by its assimilation of a 


“wealth of new elements from other religions. Both processes 


developed simultaneously in Judaism.* But the former is the 

1 Messengers and letters also passed, which kept the tie between Jerusalem and 

_ the Jewish church of the Gentiles fresh and close. A good example occurs at the 
close of Acts. 

2 On the patriarch, see Schiirer, III.@), pp. 77 f. [Eng. trans., II. 11, 270]. 

_ From Vopisc. Saturn. 8 we know that the patriarch himself went also in person 
_ to the Diaspora, so far as Egypt is concerned. On the ‘‘ apostles,” see Book ITI. 
: ch, i. (2). ber’ 

* For ‘‘syncretism,” see espe’. 4;y the last chapter in Bousset’s volume (pp. 

: 448-493). Syncretism melted each he older elements within the religion of 


more important of the two, as a preparation for Christianity. 
This is to be deduced especially from that great scene pre- 
served for us by Mark xii. 28-34—in its simplicity of spirit, 
the greatest memorial we possess of the history of religion at 

the epoch of its vital change.! “A scribe asked Jesus, What is — 

the first of all the commandments? Jesus replied, The first is: 

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God, and thou shalt — 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and ~ 
all thy mind, and all thy strength. The sécond is: Thou shalt — 
love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no commandment — 

greater than these. And the scribe said to him, True, O 

teacher; thou hast rightly said that he is one, and that beside — 
him there is none else, and that to love him with all the heart, ἢ 

and all the understanding and all the strength, and to love one’s 

neighbour as oneself, is far above all holocausts and sacrifices. 
And when Jesus saw that he answered intelligently, he said : 
Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” 


With regard to the attitude of Palestinian Judaism towards 
the mission-idea (i.¢., universalism and the duty of systematic — 


propaganda), the state of matters during the age of Christ and | 
the apostles is such as to permit pleadings upon both sides of | 
the question.” Previous to that age, there had been two periods © 

“which were essentially opposite in tendency. The older, resting 

upon the second Isaiah, gave vivid expression, even within — 

Palestine itself, to the universalism of the Jewish religion as well 

as to a religious ethic which rose almost to the pitch of humani- ] 
tarianism. This is represented in a number of the psalms, in | 
the book of Jonah, and in the Wisdom-literature. ‘The pious | 
are fully conscious that Yahweh rules over the nation and over 
all mankind, that he is the God of each individual, and that 
he requires nothing but reverence. Hence their hope for the | 

Judaism, and introduced a wealth of entirely new elements. But nothing decom- 
posed the claim that Judaism was the true religion, or the conviction that in 
** Moses” all truth lay. 

! The nearest approach to it is to be found in the missionary speech put into 
Paul’s mouth on the hill of Mars, 

2 Cp. Bertholet, Dze Ste//ung der [sraeliten und Juden zu den Fremden (1890) ; 
Schiirer, III.@), pp. 125 f.) ; Bousset, of. cz#., 8244 Axenfeld, ‘‘ Die judische Propa- — 
ganda als Vorlauferin der urchristlichen Mi at 2 ἃ the A@sstonswiss. Studien ὦ 
(Festschrift fiir Warneck), 1904, pp. 1-80- Sece = Ξ, 



conversion of all the heathen. They will have kings 
and people alike to bow before Yahweh and to praise him. 
Their desire is that Yahweh’s name be known everywhere 
among the heathen, and his glory (in the sense of conversion to - 
him) spread far and wide. With the age of the Maccabees, 
however, an opposite tendency set in. Apocalyptic was keener 
upon the downfall of the heathen than upon their conversion, 
_ and the exclusive tendencies of Judaism again assert themselves, 
in the struggle to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the 
nation. ‘One of the most important results which flowed from 
the outrageous policy of Antiochus was that it discredited for 
all time to come the idea of a Judaism free from any limitation 
whatsoever, and that it either made pro-Hellenism, in the sense 
of Jason and Alcimus, impossible for Palestine and the Diaspora 
alike, or else exposed it to sharp correction whenever it should 
raise its head” (Axenfeld, p. 28).. Now, in the age of Christ 
and the apostles, these two waves, the progressive and the 
nationalist, are beating each other back. Pharisaism itself 
appears to be torn in twain. In some psalms and manuals, 
as well as in the 13th Blessing of the Schmone Esre, universal- 
ism still breaks out. “Hillel, the most famous representative 
of Jewish Biblical learning, was accustomed, with his pupils, 
to pay special attention to the propaganda of religion. ‘ Love 
men and draw them to the Law’ is one of his traditional maxims” 
(Pirke Aboth, 1. 12). Gamaliel, Paul’s teacher, is also to be 
ranked among the propagandists. It was not impossible, how- 
ever, to be both exclusive and in favour of the propaganda, for the 
conditions of the mission were sharpened into the demand that 
the entire Law should be kept. If I mistake not, Jesus was pri- 
marily at issue with this kind of Pharisaism in Jerusalem. Now 
the keener became the opposition within Palestine to the foreign 
dominion, and the nearer the great catastrophe came, the more 
strenuous grew the reaction against all that was foreign, as well 
as the idea that whatever was un-Jewish would perish in the 
judgement. Not long before the destruction of Jerusalem, in 
all probability, the controversy between the schools of Hillel 
and Shammai ended in a complete victory for the latter. 

Shammai was not indeed an opponent of the mission in prin- 
VOL. I. 


ciple, but he subjected it to the most rigorous conditions. The 
eighteen rules which were laid down included, among other things, 
the prohibition against learning Greek, and that against accept- 
ing presents from pagans for the temple. Intercourse with 
pagans was confined within the strictest of regulations, and had 
to be given up as a whole. 'This opened the way for the Judaism 
of the Talmud and the Mishna. 'The Judaism of the Diaspora 
followed the same course of development, though not till some 
time afterwards.! 

1 Axenfeld remarks very truly (pp. 8 f.) that*‘‘ the history of the Jewish propa- 
ganda is to be explained by the constant strain between the demand that the — 
heathen should be included and the dread which this excited. The Judaism which © 
felt the impulse of propaganda resembled an invading host, whose offensive move- 
ments are continually being hampered by considerations arising from the need of © 
keeping in close touch with their basis of operations.” But it seems to me an 
artificial and theological reflection, when the same scholar lays supreme weight on ~ 
the fact that the Jewish propaganda had no ‘‘ consciousness of a vocation,” and — 
that, in contrast to the Christian mission, it simply proclaimed its God zealously 
from the consciousness of an innate religious pre-eminence, devoid of humility . 
and obedience, I have tried in vain to find an atom of truth in this thesis, with 
its resultant defence of the historicity of Matthew xxviii. 19. It is of course { 
admitted on all hands that Christian missionary zeal was bound subsequently to 
be intensified by the belief that Jesus had directly enjoined it. 



Ir is only in a series of headings, as it were, that I would 
summarize the external conditions which either made it possible 
for Christianity to spread rapidly and widely during the imperial 
age, or actually promoted its advance. One of the most 


5 i ich anticipated and prepared the way for 

1 that of Christianity. Besides this, the following considerations ὦ 
are especially to be noted :— 

_ (1) The Hellenizing of the East and (in part also) of the West, 
i which had gone on steadily since Alexander the Great: or, the 

‘important has been mentioned in the previous chapter, viz., the _ 

comparative unity of language and ideas which this Hellenizing 

“Tad produced. Not until the close of the second century a.p. 
“does this Hellenizing process appear to have exhausted itself,” 

1 The number of works at our disposal for such a survey is legion. One of the 
most recent is Gruppe’s Kudlturgeschichte der rimischen Kaiserzeit (2 vols., 1903, 

2 [know no investigations as to the precise period when the advance of Hellenism, 
more particularly of the Greek language, subsided and ceased at Rome and 
throughout the West. From my limited knowledge of the subject, I should 
- incline to make the close of the second century the limit, Marcus Aurelius still 
_ wrote his confessions in Greek, but no indication of a similar kind can be dis- 
_ covered later. In the West, Greek was checked by the deterioration of culture as 
ΠΟ well as by the circumstances of the situation: the tidal wave grows shallower as it 
spreads. During the third century Rome began to shed off Greek, and in the 
_ course of the fourth century she became once more a purely Latin city. So too 
| with the Western provinces as far as they had assimilated the Greek element ; so 
ith Southern Italy and Gaul even, though the process took longer in these regions. 
ing the second century people could still make themselves understood apparently 
by means of Greek, in any of the larger Western cities; by the third century, a 

by the fourth, no traveller in the West could dispense with Latin any longer, and 
_it was only in Southern Gaul and Lower Italy that Greek sufficed. 

Stranger who did not know Latin was sometimes in ἀπέβουϊεϊδει though not often ; © 


while in the fourth century, when the seat of empire was shifted 
to the East, the movement acquired a still further impetus in 
several important directions. As Christianity allied itself very 
quickly though incompletely to the speech and spirit of 
Hellenism, it was in a position to avail itself of a great deal in 
the success of the latter. In return it furthered the advance of 
Hellenism and put a check to its retreat. 
(2) The _world-empire of Rome and the det: unity which — 
it secured for the nations bor ering “on the: an; t 6. 
“comparative unity secured by this ποτιατευκῖο. for dale 
and conditions of outward existence, and also the comparative 3 
stability of social life. ‘Throughout many provinces of the East, 
“people fel the emperor really stood for peace,after all the 
dreadful storms and wars ; they hailed his law as a shelter and a 

safeguard.’ Furthermore, the_earthly monarchy of the world 

was a fact which at once favoured_the conception. of the heavenly | 
_monarchy and conditioned the origin of a catholic_or universal 
church. Ba | 
(3) ‘The exceptional facilities, growth, and security of tnter-_ 
national traffic:® the admirable roads; the blending of different ος 
nationa ities the interchange of \ wares and of ideas; the 

1 After Melito, Origen (c. Ce/sum, II. xxx.) correctly estimated the significance 
of this for the Christian propaganda. ‘‘ In the days of Jesus, righteousness arose 
and fulness of peace ; it began with his birth. God prepared the nations for his _ 
teaching, by causing the Roman emperor to rule over all the world; there was no ὶ 
longer to be a plurality of kingdoms, else would the nations have been strangers to | 
one another, and so the apostles would have found it harder to carry out the task _ 
laid on them by Jesus, when he said, ‘ Go and teach all nations.’ It is well known | 
that the birth of Jesus took place in the reign of Augustus, who fused and federated ὦ 
the numerous peoples upon earth into a single empire. A plurality of kingdoms | 
would have been an obstacle to the spread of the doctrine of Jesus throughout all 
the world, not merely for the reasons already mentioned, but also because the 
nations would in that event have been obliged to go to war in defence of their | 
native lands. . . . . How, then, could this doctrine of peace, which does not even | 
permit vengeance upo#an enemy, have prevailed throughout the world, had not the 
circumstances of the world passed everywhere into a milder phase at the advent of | 
Jesus?” $ 

2 Cp. Stephan in Raumer’s Histor. Taschenbuch (1868), pp. 1 f., and Zahn’s | 
Weltverkehr und Kirche wihrend der γε ersten Jahrhunderte (1877). That one j 
Phrygian merchant voyaged to Rome (according to the inscription on a tomb) no) 
fewer than seventy-two times in the course of his life, is itself a fact which 1 mus 
never be lost sight of, 

3 It is surprising to notice this blending of nationalities, whenever any inscrif 


personal intercourse ; the ubiquitous merchant and soldier—one 
_ may add, the ubiquitous professor, who was to be encountered 
_ from Antioch to Cadiz, from Alexandria to Bordeaux. ‘lhe 
church thus found the way paved for expansion: the means were 
prepared ; and the population of the large towns was as hetero- 
geneous and devoid of a past as could be desired. 

(4) The practical and theoretical conviction of the essential 

unity of mankindsand of human rights and duties, which was 
_ produced, or at any rate intensfied, by the fact of the “orbis 

Romanus” on the one side and the development of philosophy 
upon the other, and confirmed by the truly enlightened system 
of Roman jurisprudence, particularly between Nerva and 
Alexander Severus, On all essential questions the church had 
no reason to oppose, but rather to assent to, Roman law, that 
grandest and most durable product of the empire. 

(5) The decomposition _of ancient society into _a democracy : 
_ the gradual equalizing of the “ cives Romani” and the provincials, 
of the Greeks and the barbarians; the comparative equalizing 
of classes in society ; the elevation of the e slave-class—in short, a 
——————— προς SS TR 
soil prepared for the growth of new formations by the decom- 
position of the old. 

(6) The religious policy of Rome, which furthered the inter- 
change of religions by its toleration, hardly presenting any 
ο cles to their natural increase or transformation or decay, 
(although it would not stand any practical expression of contempt 
for the ceremonial of the State-religion.) The liberty guaranteed 

tion bears a considerable number of names (soldiers, pages, martyrs, etc.), and at 
the same time mentions their origin. 

1 At this point (in order to illustrate these four paragraphs) Renan’s well-known 

be cited (Les Afétres, ch. xvi.): ‘* The unity Of the empire was the 

essential presupposition of any comprehensive proselytizing movement which should 
transcend the limits of nationality. In the fourth century the empire realised this : 
it became Christian ; it perceived that Christianity was the religion which it had 
matured involuntarily ; it recognized in Christianity the religion whose limits were the 
_ Same as its own, the religion which was identified with itself and capable of in- 
_ fusing new life into its being. The church, for her part, became thoroughly 
. Roman, and to this day has remained a survival of the old Roman empire. Had 
' anyone told Paul that Claudius was his main coadjutor, had anyone told Claudius 
_ that this Jew, starting from Antioch, was preparing the ground for the most 
_ enduring part of the imperial system, both Paul and Claudius would have been 
mightily astonished. Nevertheless both sayings would have been true.” 


by Rome’s religious policy on all other points was an ample 
compensation for the rough check imposed on the spread of 
Christianity by her vindication of the State-religion. 
(7) The existence of associations, as well as of municipal and 
provincial organizations. Tn several respects the former had — 
~ prepared the soil for the reception of Christianity, whilst in some — 
cases they probably served as a shelter for it. The latter : 
actually suggested the most important forms of organization in 
the church, and thus saved her the onerous task of first devising 

such forms and then requiring to commend them. 

(8) The wruption of the Syrian and Persian religions into the 
empire, dating especially from the reign of Antoninus Pius. 
These had certain traits in_common with Christianity, and 

although the spread of the church was at first handicapped by 

them, any such loss was amply made up for by the new religious 
cravings which they stirred within the minds of men—cravings 
which could not finally be satisfied apart from Christianity. 

(9) The decline of the exact sciences, a phenomenon due to the - 
democratic tendency of society and the simultaneous popular- 
izing of knowledge, as well as to other unknown causes: also 

( craving for some form of revelation and a thirst for miracle. ε 

have been previously included among the inward) brought about | 
a great revolution in the whole of human cxistenoe ale | 
empire, a revolution which must have been highly conducive to _ 
the spread of the Christian_religion. The_narrow world had | 
become a wide world; the rent world had become a unity; the | 
barbarian world had become Greek and Roman: one em ire, | 
one universal language, one civilization, a_common. Jerleppemt | 

towards monotheism, and a common yearning for saviours ! ἢ 
| - - ᾿πωκωσοσσις neds 

1 As Uhlhorn remarks very truly (Deze christliche Liebesthatighett in der alten 
Kirche, 1882, p. 37; Eng. trans. pp. 40-42): ‘‘ From the time of the emperors 
onwards a new influence made itself felt, and unless we notice this influence, we 
cannot understand the first centuries of the early Christian church, we cannot 
understand its rapid extension and its relatively rapid triumph. ... . Had the © 
stream of new life issuing from Christ encountered ancient life when the latter | 
was still unbroken, it would have recoiled impotent from the shock. But ancient 
life had by this time begun to break up; its solid foundations had begun to 
weaken; and, besides, the Christian stream fell in with a previous and cognate 




current of Jewish opinion. In the Roman empire there had already appeared a 
universalism foreign to the ancient world. Nationalities had been effaced. The 
idea of universal humanity had disengaged itself from that of nationality. The 
Stoics had passed the word that all men were equal, and had spoken of brotherhood 
as well as of the duties of man towards man. Hitherto despised, the lower 
‘Classes had asserted their position. The treatment of slaves became milder. 
If Cato had compared them to cattle, Pliny sees in them his ‘serving friends.’ 
The position of the artizan improved, and freedmen worked their way up, for the 
guilds provided them not simply with a centre of social life, but also with the 
means of bettering their social position. Women, hitherto without any legal 
rights, received such in increasing numbers. Children were looked after. The 
distribution of grain, originally a political institution and nothing more, became 
a sort of poor-relief system, and we meet with a growing number of generous 
deeds, gifts, and endowments, which already exhibit a more humane spirit,” etc. 





In subsequent sections of this book we shall notice a series of 
the more important inner conditions which determined the 
universal spread of the Christian religion. It was by preaching 
to the poor, the burdened, and the outcast, by the preaching — 
and practice of love, that Christianity turned the stony, sterile 
world into a fruitful field for the church. Where no other 
religion could sow and reap, this religion was enabled to scatter 
its seed and to secure a harvest. rs 
The condition, however, which determined more than any- 
thing else the propaganda of the religion, lay in the general — 

ey oe 

religious situation-during the.imperial age. It is impossible to — 

attempt hereto depict that situation, and unluckily we cannot — 

refer to any standard work which does justice to such a colossal — 

undertaking, despite the admirable studies and sketches (such 

as those of Tyzschirner, Friedlinder, Boissier, Réville, and | 




Wissowa)! which we possess. This being so, we must content — 

ourselves with throwing out a few hints along two main lines. 

(1) Jn spite of the inner evolution of polytheism towards 
_monotheism, the relations between Christianity and paganism 
simply meant the opposition of monotheism and polytheism—_ 
of polytheism, too, in the first instance, as political religion © 

‘ (the imperial cultus). Here Christianity and paganism were 
absolutely opposed. ‘The former burned what the latter adored, 

and the latter burned Christians as guilty of high treason. 

1 Add the sketch of the history of Greek religion by Wilamowitz-Moellendorft 
(Jahrb. des Freten deutschen Hochstifis, 1904), 


_ Christian apologists and martyrs were perfectly right in often 
' ignoring every other topic when they opened their lips, and in 
_ reducing everything to this simple alternative. 

_ Judaism shared with Christianity this attitude towards _poly- 
ΝΞ σὲ ne eign hence its 

monotheism was widely tolerated simply because it was largely 

unintelligible. Furthermore, it usually evaded any conflict 
with the State-authorities, and it did not make martyrdom 
obligatory. ‘That a man had to become a Jew in order to be 

a monotheist, was utterly absurd: it degraded the creator of 

heaven and earth to the level of a national god. Besides, if he 

was a national god, he was not the only one. No doubt, up 
and down the empire there were whispers about the atheism of 
the Jews, thanks to their lack of images; but the charge was 
never levelled in real earnest—or rather, opinion was in such 

a state of oscillation that the usual political result obtained : 

im dubio pro reo. 

It was otherwise with Christianity. Here the polytheists 
~ could have no hesitation: deprived of any basis in a nation or 
a State, destitute alike of images and temples, Christianity was 
simple atheism. ‘The contrast between polytheism and mono- 
theism was in this field clear and keen. From the second 
century onwards, the conflict between these two forms of religion 
was waged by Christianity and not by Judaism. ‘The former 
was aggressive, while as a rule the latter had really ceased to 
fight at all—it devoted itself to capturing proselytes, 

From the very outset it was no hopeless struggle. isa | 
Christianity came upon the scene, the polytheism of the State- ὁ 
religion was not yet eradicated, indeed, nor was it eradicated for 
some time to come;! but there were ample forces at hand 
which were already compassing its ruin. It had survived t 
critical epoch during which the republic had changed into a 
dual control and a monarchy; but as for the fresh swarm of 
religions which were invading and displacing it, polytheism 
could no more exorcise them with the magic wand of the 
imperial cultus than it could dissolve them under the rays of 
a protean cultus of the sun, which sought to bring everything 


Successful attempts to revive it were not awanting ; see under (2) in this section. 



within its sweep. Nevertheless polytheism would still have — 
been destined to a long career, had it not been attacked secretly 
—or_openly_by the forces of general knowledge, philosophy, and — 
ethics; had it not also been saddled with arrears of mythology — 
_which excited ridicule and resentment. Statesmen, poets, and — 
philosophers might disregard all this, since each of these groups 
devised some method of preserving their continuity with the 
past. But once the common people realized it, or were made to 
realize it, the conclusion they drew in such cases was ruthless. 
The onset against deities feathered and scaly, deities adulterous 
and infested with vice, and on the other hand against idols of 
wood and stone, formed the most impressive and effective factor 
in Christian preaching for wide circles, circles which in all ranks 
of society down to the lowest classes (where indeed they were 
most numerous) had, owing to experience and circumstances, 
reached a point at which the burning denunciations of the 
abomination of idolatry could not fail to arrest them and bring 
them over to monotheism. ‘The very position of polytheism as 
the State-religion was in favour of the Christian propaganda. 
Religion faced religion ; but whilst the one was new and living, 
_the other was old—that is, with the exception of the imperial 
ultus, in which once more it gathered up its forces. No one — 
could tell exactly what had come over it. Was it merely — 
equivalent to what was lawful in politics? Or did it represent — 
the vast, complicated mass of religiones licittae throughout the © 

empire? Who could say? 
Ὁ This, however, is to touch on merely one side of ἔπθ 

matter. The religious situation in the imperial age, with the — 
tendencies it cherished and the formations it produced—all this | 
was complicated in the extreme. Weighty as were the simple — 
antitheses of “monotheism versus polytheism” and “strict — 
morality versus laxity and vice,” these cannot be taken as a” 
complete summary of the whole position. The posture of affairs — 
throughout the empire is no more adequately described by the 
term “ polytheism,” than is Christianity, as it was then preached, | 
by the bare term “‘ monotheism.” It was not a case of vice and 
virtue simply facing one another. Here, in fact, we must enter 
into some detail and definition. 


ok So 
Wises 5 

ne eee 
ee ὩΣ. τὰ: ““.,. Te oe 


__ Anyone who considers that the domination of the inner life 
over external empiricism and politics is an illusion and perver- 
"sion; must date the disintegration of the ancient world from 
Socrates and Plato. Here the two tempers stand apart! On the 
other hand, anyone who regards this domination as the supreme 

advance of man, is not obliged to accompany its development 
down as far as Neo- Platonism, He will not, indeed, be unaware 
ee to the last, in the time of Augustine, genuine advances 
_ were made along this line, but he will allow that they were 
_ gained at great expense—too great expense. This erroneous 
development began when introspection commenced to despise 
and neglect its correlative in natural science, and to woo 
mysticism, theurgy, astrology, or magic. For more than a 
_ century previous to the Christian era, this had been going on. 

_ At the threshold of the transition stands Posidonius, like a 

second Janus, Looking in one direction, he favours a rational 
idealism ; but, in another, he combines this with irrational and 
mystic elements. ‘The sad thing is that these elements had to 
_be devised and employed in order to express new emotional 
values which his rational idealism could not manage to guarantee, 
because it lay spell-bound and impotent in intellectualism. 
Language itself declined to fix the value of anything which was 
not intellectual by nature. Hence the ‘Yzepvoyrov emerged, a 
conception which continued to attract and appropriate what- 

\ ever was mythical and preposterous, allowing it to pass in 

unchallenged. Myth now ceased to be a mere symbol. It 
became the organic means of expression for those higher needs 
of sentiment and religion whose real nature was a closed book to 
thinkers of the day. On this line of development, Posidonius 
was followed by Philo. 

The inevitable result of all this was a relapse to lower levels ; 
but it was a relapse which, as usual, bore all the signs of an 
innovation. The signs pointed to life, but the innovation was 
ominous. For, while the older mythology had been either 
haive or political, dwelling in the wortd-of ceremony, the new 
mythology became a confession: it was philosophical, or pseudo- 
philosophical, and to this it owed its sway over the mind, 

beguiling the human spirit until it gradually succeeded in 




destroying the sense of reality and in crippling the proper 
functions of all the senses within man. His eyes grew dim, his 
ears could hear no longer. At the same time, these untoward — 

This took place about the close of the first century. Ere long 
it permeated all classes in society, and it appears to have 
increased with every decade subsequently to the middle of the 
second century. This. came out in two ways, on the principle 
of that dual development in which a religious upheaval always 
manifests itself. The first was a series of not unsuccessful — 
attempts to revivify and inculcate the old religions, by carefully — 
observing traditional customs, and by restoring the sites of the — 
oracles and the places of worship. Such attempts, however, 
were partly superficial and artificial. 'They offered no strong or : 
clear expression for the new religious cravings of the age. And — 



Christianity held entirely aloof from all this restoration of — 
religion. ‘They came into contact merely to collide—this pair — 
of alien magnitudes; neither understood the other, and each 

The second way in which the resuscitation of religion came — 
about, however, was far more potent. Ever since Alexander 
the Great and his successors, ever since Augustus in a later age, — 
the nations upon whose development the advance of humanity — 
depended had been living under new auspices. The great 
revolution in the external conditions of their existence has been 
already emphasized; but corresponding to this, and partly in — 
consequence of it, a revolution took place in the inner world of — 
religion, which was due in some degree to the blending of — 
religions, but pre-eminently to the progress of culture and to 
man’s experience inward and outward. No period can be — 
specified at which this blending process commenced among the . 
nations lying between Egypt and the Euphrates, the Tigris, or — 
Persia ;1 for, so far as we are in a position to trace back their — 

_ was driven to compass the extermination of its rival (see above). | 

history, their religions were, like themselves, exposed to con- 

1 It is still a moot point of controversy whether India had any share in this, — 
and if so to what extent; some connection with India, however, does seem — 


_ stant interchange, whilst their religious theories were a matter 
_of give and take. But now the Greek world fell to be added, 
_ with all the store of knowledge and ideas which it had gained 
_ by dint of ardent, willing toil, a world lying open to any 
_ contribution from the East, and in its turn subjecting every 
_ element of Eastern origin to the test of its own lore and 
_ speculation. 
_ The results already produced by the interchange of Oriental 
_ religions, including that of Israel, were technically termed, a 
; century ago, ‘‘ the Oriental philosophy of religion,” a term which 
᾿ς denoted the broad complex of ritual and theory connected with 
- the respective cults, their religious ideas, and also scientific 
speculations such as those of astronomy or of any other branch 
of knowledge which was elevated into the province of religion. 
All this was as indefinite as the title which was meant to com- 
_ prehend it, nor even at present have we made any great progress 
in this field of research. Still, we have a more definite grasp 
of the complex itself; and—although it seems paradoxical to 
say so—this is a result which we owe chiefly to Christian 
gnosticism. Nowhere else are these vague and various concep- 
tions worked out for us so clearly and coherently. 

In what follows I shall attempt to bring out the salient features 

of this “Orientalism.” Naturally it was_no rigid entity. At 
“every facet it presented elements and ideas of the most varied 
hue. The general characteristic was this, that people still 
_ retained or renewed their belief in sections of the traditional 
_ mythology presented in realistic form. "ΤῸ these they did attach 
ideas. It is not possible, as a rule, to ascertain in every case 
at what point and to what extent such ideas overflowed and 
overpowered the realistic element in any given symbol—a fact 
__ which makes our knowledge of “ Orientalism ” look extremely de- 
fective ; for what is the use of fixing down a piece of mythology 
to some definite period and circle, if we cannot be sure of its 
exact value? Was it held literally? Was it transformed into 
an idea? Was it taken metaphorically? Was it the creed of 
_ unenlightened piety? Was it merely ornamental? And what 

' The origin of the separate elements, in particular, is frequently obscure— 
whether Indian, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Asiatic, etc. 



was its meaning? ‘Theological or cosmological? Ethical or 
historical? Did it embody some event in the remote past, or — 
something still in existence, or something only to be realized 
in the future? Or did these various meanings and values flow — 
in and out of one another? And was the myth in question felt 
to be some sacred, undefined magnitude, something that could — 
unite with every conceivable coefficient, serving as the starting- 
point for any interpretation whatsoever that one chose to put 
before the world? ‘This last question is to be answered, I think, 
in the affirmative, nor must we forget that in one and the same 
circle the most diverse coefficients were simultaneously attached 
to any piece of mythology. 

Further, we must not lose sight of the varied origin of the 
myths. The earliest spring from the primitive view of nature, 
in which the clouds were in conflict with the light and the night 
devoured the sun, whilst thunderstorms were the most awful — 
revelation of the deity. Or they arose from the dream-world of 
the soul, from that separation of soul and body suggested by the 

“dream, and from the cult of the human soul. ‘The next stratum 

may have arisen out of ancient._historical_reminiseenees, fantas- 
tically exaggerated and elevated into something supernatural. 
Then came the precipitate of primitive attempts at “science” — 
which had gone no further, viz., observations of heaven and 
earth, leading to the knowledge of certain regular sequences, 
which were bound up with religious conceptions. All this the 
soul of man informed with life, endowing it with the powers of | 
human consciousness. It was upon this stratum that the great 
Oriental religions rose, as we know them in history, with their 
special mythologies and ritual theories. ‘Then came another 
stratum, namely, religion in its abstract development and alliance 
with a robust philosophic culture. One half of it was apologetic, 
and the other critical. Yet even there myths still took shape. 

- Finally, the last stratum was laid down, viz., the glaciation of © 

ancient imaginative fancies and religions produced by a new 
conception of the universe, which the circumstances and experi- 
ence of mankind had set in motion. Under the pressure of this, 

all existing materials were fused together, elements thattay-far- : 

. 33 a ee x ¥ 
apart W " all previous constructions — 

τος ὦ ἐστ δ. 

Δι .. 


were shattered, while the surface of the movement was covere 

_ by broken fragments thrown out in a broad moraine, in which 
_ the debris of all earlier strata were to be found. This is the 
meaning of “syncretism.” Viewed from a distance, it looks like 
a unity, though the unity seems heterogeneous. The forces 
which have shaped it do not meet the eye. What one really 
sees is the ancient element in its composition ; the new lies buried 
under all that catches the eye upon the surface. 

This new element consisted in the political and social experi- 
ence, and in speculations of the inner life. It would appear 
that even before the period of its contact with the Greek spirit, 
“Orientalism” had reached this stage; but one of the most 
unfortunate gaps in our knowledge of the history of religion is 

_ our inability to determine to what extent “Orientalism” had 
its-own lines, independent of this Greek spirit. 
We must be content to ascer Shree ον ε 
the rise of new ideas and emotions which meet us on the soil of 
Hellenism—that Hellenism which, with its philosophy of a 
matured Platonism and its development of the ancient mysteries, 
_ coalesced with Orientalism.! 'These new features? are somewhat 
as follows :— 
_ (1) There is the sharp division between the soul (or spirit) and 
ἐδ body : te es caclisive iin τ attathed. taba ——. 
| spirit, and the notion that the spirit comes from some other, 
| upper world and is either possessed or capable of life eternal : 

also the individualism involved in all this. 
(2) There is the sharp division between God and the world, with 

en ee eee κὰν, 

1 The convergence of these lines of development in the various nations of 
_ antiquity during the age of Hellenism is among the best-established facts of 
_ history. Contemporary ideas of a cognate or similar nature were not simply the 
result of mutual interaction, but also of an independent development along 
parallel lines. This makes it difficult, and indeed impossible in many cases, to 
decide on which branch any given growth sprang up. The similarity of the 
development on parallel lines embraced not only the ideas, but frequently their 
very method of expression and the form under which they were conceived. The 
| bounds of human fancy in this province are narrower than is commonly supposed. Ὁ Onn ums 
᾿ς 5. Cp. further the essay of Loofs on ‘‘ The Crisis of Christianity in the Second 
Century” (Deutsch-evang. Blitter, 1904, Heft 7), which depicts the problem 
_ occasioned by the meeting of Christianity and syncretism. Also, the penetrating 
_ remarks of Wernle in his Anfingen unserer Religion (2nd ed,, 1904; Eng. trans., 
Ve he Beginnings of Christianity, in this library). 


πῃ: οὐ ee Ξν 

the subversion of the naive idea that they formed a homo-— 
geneous unity. | 
(3) In consequence of these distinctions we have the sublima- — 
tion of the-Gedhéad, “ via negationis et eminentiae.” ~The God-— 
head now becomes for the first time incomprehensible and in- 
describable ; yet it is also great and good. Furthermore, it is 
the basis of all things; but the ultimate basis, which is simply 
posited yet cannot be actually grasped. 

(4) As a further result of these distinctions and of the ex- 
clusive importance attached to the spirit, we have the _deprecia- 
tion of the world, the contention that it were better never to 

—have existed, that it was the result of a blunder, and that it was 
a prison or at best a penitentiary for the spirit. _ 

(5) There is the conviction that the connection with the flesh 
(“that soiled robe”) depreciated-and stained-the_spirit ; in Tact, 
that the latter would inevitably be ruined unless the con- 
nection were broken or its influence counteracted. 

(6) There is the yearning for redemption, as a redemption 
from the world, theflesh, mortality, and_death. 3 : 

(7) There is the conviction that all redemption is redemption - 
to life eternal, and that it is dependent on knowledge and ex- 
piation : that only the soul that knows (knows itself, the God- 

“head, and the nature and value of being) and is pure (i.e., purged 
from sin) can be saved. ; 

(8) There is the certainty that the redemption of the soul _as a 
return to God is -@ffected through a series of stages, just as the 
Soul once upon a time departed ‘Tons God By tages, till it ended 

-in the present vale of tears. All instruction upon redemption 
is therefore instruction upon “the return and road” to God. 
The consummation of redemption is simply a graduated ascent. ἢ 

(9) There is the belief (naturally a wavering belief) that the 

_anticipated redemption or redeemer was already present, needing 

ΤΠ only to be sought out: present, that is, either in some ancient 
creed which simply required to be placed in a proper light, 
or in one of the mysteries which had only to be made more 
generally accessible, or in some personality whose power and 
commands had to be followed, or even in the spirit, if only it 
would turn inward on itself. 


10) There is the conviction that whilst knowledge is indispen- 
59.016 to all the media of redemption, it cannot be adequate; on 
the contrary, they must ultimately furnish and transmit an actual 
power divine. It is the “initiation” (the mystery or sacrament) 
_ which is combined with the impartation of knowledge, by which 
_ alone the spirit is subdued, by which it is actually redeemed 
_ and delivered from the bondage of mortality and sin by means 
of mystic rapture. 
(11) There is the prevalent, indeed the fundamental opinion 
that knowledge of the universe, religion, and the strict management 

f the individual's conduct, must form a compact unity; they 

ust constitute an independent unity, which has nothing 

whatever to do with the State, society, the family, or one’s 

_ daily calling, and must therefore maintain an attitude of 

negation (i.e., in the sense of asceticism) towards all these 

The soul, God, knowledge, expiration, asceticism, redemption, 
eternal life, with individualism and with humanity substituted 
_ for nationality—these were the sublime thoughts which were 
living and operative, partly as the precipitate of deep inward 
and outward movements, partly as the outcome of great souls 
and their toil, partly as one result of the sublimation of all 
_ cults which took place during the imperial age. Wherever vital 
| religion existed, it was in this circle of thought and experience 
_ that it drew breath. The actual number of those who lived 

within the circle is a matter of no moment. ‘“ All men have 
not faith.” And the history of religion, so far as it is really 
ἃ history of vital religion, runs always in a very narrow groove. 

The remarkable thing is the number of different guises in 
which such thoughts were circulating. Like all religious 
accounts of the universe which aim at reconciling monistic and 
dualistic theories, they required a large apparatus for their 
intrinsic needs; but the tendency was to elaborate this still 
further, partly in order to provide accommodation for whatever 
might be time-honoured or of any service, partly because isolated 
details had an appearance of weakness which made people hope 

_ to achieve their end by dint of accumulation. Owing to the 

heterogeneous character of their apparatus, these syncretistic 
i «VOL. 1. 3 


formations seem often to be totally incongruous. But this is 
a superficial estimate. A glance at their motives and aims 
reveals the presence of a unity, and indeed of a simplicity, 
which is truly remarkable. The final motives, in fact, are . 
simple and powerful, inasmuch as they have sprung from simple 
but powerful experiences of the inner life, and it was due to — 
them that the development of religion advanced, so far as any — 
such advance took place apart from Christianity. τ 
Christianity had to settle with this “syncretism” or final — 
form of Hellenism. But we can see at once how inadequ 
it would be to describe the contrast between Christianity and — 
““ paganism ” simply as the contrast between monotheism and 
Scr Ms of syncretism was perfectly — 
"capable of blending with polytheism ; the one even demanded 
and could not but itensify the other. To explain the origin 
of the world and also to describe the soul’s “ return,” the 
“ apparatus ” of the system required sons, intermediate beings, 
semi-gods, and deliverers; the highest deity was not the highest — 
or most perfect, if it stood by itself. Yet all this way of ; 
thinking was monotheistic at bottom; it elevated the highest { 
God to the position of primal God, high above all gods, linking ~ 
the soul to this primal God and to him alone (not to any sub- — 
ordinate deities)! Polytheism was relegated to a lower level A 4 


( 1 The difference between the Christian God and the God of syncretistic Hellenism | 


is put by the pagan (Porphyry) in A/acarius Magnes, iv. 20, with admirable — 
lucidity: τὸ μέντοι περὶ τῆς μοναρχίας τοῦ μόνου θεοῦ καὶ τῆς πολυαρχίας τῶν 
σεβομένων θεῶν διαρρήδην ζητήσωμεν, ὧν οὐκ οἶδας οὐδὲ τῆς μοναρχίας τὸν λόγον 
ἀφηγήσασθαι. Μονάρχης γάρ ἐστὶν οὐχ ὃ μόνος ὥν ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μόνος ἄρχων ᾿ ἄρχει δ᾽ 
ὁμοφύλων δηλαδὴ καὶ ὁμοίων, οἷον “Αδριανὸς ὃ βασιλεὺς μονάρχης γέγονεν, οὔχ ὅτε 
μόνος ἦν οὐδ᾽ ὅτι βοῶν καὶ προβάτων ἦρχεν, ὧν ἄρχουσι ποιμένες ἢ βουκόλοι, ἄλλ᾽ 
ὅτι ἀνθρώπων ἐβασίλευσε τῶν ὁμογενῶν τὴν αὐτὴν φύσιν ἐχόντων * ὡσαύτως θεὸς οὔκ 
ἂν μονάρχης κυρίως ἐκλήθη, εἰ μὴ θεῶν ἦρχε. τοῦτο γὰρ ἔπρεπε τῷ θείῳ μεγέθει καὶ ὁ 
τῷ οὐρανίῳ καὶ πολλῷ ἀξιώματι (‘* Let us, however, proceed to inquire explicitly - 
about the monarchy of the one God alone and the joint-rule of those deities who 
are worshipped, but of whom, as of divine monarchy, you cannot give any account. 
A monarch is not one who is alone but one who rules alone, ruling subjects of 
kindred nature like himself—such as the emperor Hadrian, for example, who was 
a monarch not because he stood alone or because he ruled sheep and cattle, which 
are commanded by shepherds and herdsmen, but because he was king over human 

beings whose nature was like his own, Even so, it would not have been accurate 
to term God a monarch, if he did not rule over gods. For such a position befitt 
the dignity of God and the high honour of heaven”). Here the contrast 

from the supremacy which once it had enjoyed. Further, as_ 
_ soon as Christianity itself began to be reflective, it took δῇς 
_ interest in this “syncretism,” borrowing ideas from i : 

+hem,-in-fact; to promote its own development. Christianity 
—was not originally syncretistic itself, for Jesus Christ did not | 

belong to this circle of ideas, and it was his disciples who were ) 

responsible for the primitive shaping of Christianity. But | 
_ whenever Christianity came to formulate ideas of God, Jesus, | 
sin, redemption, and life, it drew upon the materials acquired | 
in the general process of religious evolution, availing itself of | 
all the forms which these had taken. 

Christian preaching thus found itself confronted with the old 
polytheism at its height in the imperial cultus, and with this 
syncretism which represented the final stage of Hellenism. 
These constituted the inner conditions under which the young 
religion carried on its mission. From its opposition to poly- 
theism it drew that power of antithesis and exclusiveness which 
is a force at once needed and intensified by any independent 
religion. In syncretism, again, 2.e., in all that as a rule deserved 
_ the title of “religion” in contemporary life, it possessed uncon- 
sciously a secret ally. All it had to do with syncretism was to 
cleanse and simplify—and complicate—it. 

the Christian and the Greek monarchianism is clearly defined. Only, it should be 
“added that many phitosophic-Christians teven ithe second century) did not share 
this severely monotheistic idea of God; in fact, as early as the first century we 
come across modifications of it. Tertullian (in adv, Prax, iii.), even in recapitulat- 
ing the view of God which passed for orthodox at that period, comes dangerously 
near to Porphyry in the remark: ‘‘ Nullam dico dominationem ita unius esse, ita 
 singularem, ita monarchiam, ut non etiam per alias proximas personas adminis- 
- tretur, quas ipsa prospexerit officiales sibi” (‘‘No dominion, I hold, belongs to 
_ any one person in such a way, or is in such a sense singular, or in such a sense a 
ΟΠ monarchy, as not also to be administered through other persons who are closely 
related to it, and with whom it has provided itself as its officials”), Tdre-sehoolof 
- Origen went still further in their reception of syncretistic monotheism, and the 
τ τος uot checked until the Nicherreed-came-whtcih “its tmratisual doctsine 
of the Trinity, causirig the Logos and the Spirit to-be conceived as persons within 
_ the Godhead. But although the pagan monarchical idea was routed on this field, 
. it had already entrenched itself in the doctrine of angels. The latter, as indeed 
_ Porphyry (iv. 20) observed, is thoroughly Hellenic, since it let in polytheism 
» through a back-door. In iv. 23 Porphyry tries to show Christians that as their 
» scriptures taught a plurality of gods, they consequently contained the conception 
_ of God’s monarchy which the Greeks taught. He refers to Exod, xxii. 28, 
 Jerem. vii. 6, Deut. xii. 30, Josh. xxiv. 14, 1 Cor. viii. 5. 


Ir is impossible to answer the question of Jesus’ relation to the 
universal mission, without a critical study of the evangelic 
records. 'The gospels were written in an age when the mission 
was already in full swing, and they consequently refer it to 
direct injunction of Jesus. But they enable us, for all that, to 
recognise the actual state of matters. 

Jesus addressed his gospel—his message of God’s imminent — 
kingdom and of judgment, of God’s fatherly providence, Of ‘ 
repentance, holiness, and love—to his fellow-countrymen. He i 
preached only to Jews. Not a syllable shows that he detached 
this message from its national soil, or set aside the traditional — 
religion as of no value. Upon the contrary, his preaching could — 
be taken as the most powerful corroboration of that religion. | 
He did not attach himself to any of the numerous “ liberal” or | 
syncretistic Jewish conventicles or schools. He did not accept — | 
their ideas. Rather he took his stand upon the soil of Jewish | 
rights, ὁ.6.. of the piety maintained by Pharisaism. But he | 
showed that while the Pharisees preserved what was good in | 
religion, they were perverting it none the less, and that the per- | 
version amounted to the most heinous of sins. Jesus waged | 
war against the selfish, self-righteous temper in which many of 
the Pharisees fulfilled and practised their piety—a temper, at 
bottom, both loveless and godless. ‘This protest already in- 
volved a break with the national religion, for the Pharisaic — 
position passed for that of the nation ; indeed, it represented the 
national religion. But Jesus went further. He traversed the 

claim that the descendants of Abraham, in virtue of their descen ; 

, . 
δ a ee eee ee, ee 

bit de 
ἘΣ 5. ἢ 



were sure of salvation, and based the idea of divine sonship 

_ exclusively upon repentance, humility, faith, and love. In so 

doing, he disentangled religion from its national setting. “Men, ~ 

“not Jews, were to be its adherents. Then, as it became plainer 

than ever that the Jewish people as a whole, and through their 
representatives, were spurning his message, he announced with 
increasing emphasis that a judgment was coming upon “the 
children of the kingdom,” and prophesied, as his forerunner had 
done already, that the table of his Father would not lack for 
guests, but that a crowd would pour in, morning, noon, and 
night, from the highways and the hedges. Finally, he predicted 
the rejection of the nation and the overthrow of the temple, 
but these were not to involve the downfall of his work; on the 

__ contrary, he saw in them, as in his own passion, the condition 

of his work’s completion. 

Such is the “universalism” of the preaching of Jesus. No 
other kind of universalism can be proved for him, and conse- 
quently he cannot-have given any command upon the mission to. 

e wide world. ‘The gospels contain such a command, but it 
is easy to show that it is neither genuine nor a part of the 
primitive tradition. It would introduce an entirely strange 
feature into the preaching of Jesus, and at the same time render 
many of his genuine sayings unintelligible or empty. One 
might even argue that the universal mission was an inevitable 
issue of the religion and spirit of Jesus, and that its origin, not 
only apart from any direct word of Jesus, but in verbal contra- 
diction to several of his sayings, is really a stronger testimony 

_to the method, the strength, and the spirit of his preaching 

than if it were the outcome of a deliberate command. By the 
fruit we know the tree; but we must not look for the fruit in 
the root. With regard to the way in which he worked and 
gathered disciples, the distinctiveness of his person and his 
preaching comes out very clearly. He sought to found no sect 
or school. He laid down no rules for outward adhesion to 
himself. His aim was to bring men to God and to prepare 
them for God’s kingdom. He chose disciples, indeed, giving 

them special instruction and a share in his work; but even here 

_ there were no regulations. ‘There were an inner circle of three, 


an outer circle of twelve, and beyond that a few dozen men 
and women who accompanied him. In addition to that, he 
had intimate friends who remained in their homes and at their — 
work. Wherever he went, he wakened or found children of 
God throughout the country. No rule or regulation bound 
them together. They simply sought and shared the supreme 
boon which came home to each and all, viz., the kingdom of 
their Father and of the individual soul. In the practice of this — 
kind of mission Jesus has had but one follower, and he did ποῦ 
arise till a thousand years afterwards. He was St Francis 
of Assisi. 

If we leave out of account the words put by our first evangelist 
into the lips of the risen Jesus (Matt. xxviii. 19 f.), with the similar 
expressions which occur in the unauthentic appendix to the second 
gospel (Mark xvi. 15, 20), and if we further set aside the story of 
the wise men from the East, as well as one or two Old Testament 
quotations which our first evangelist has woven into his tale (ep. 
Matt. iv. 13 ἢ, xii. 18), we must admit that Mark and Matthew 
have almost consistently withstood the temptation to introduce the — 
Gentile mission into the words and deeds of Jesus. Jesus called — 
sinners to himself, ate with tax-gatherers, attacked the Pharisees 
and their legal observance, made everything turn upon mercy and 
justice, and predicted the downfall of the temple—such is the — 
universalism of Mark and. Matthew. The very choice and com-— 
mission of the twelve is described without any mention of a mission — 
to the world (Mark iii. 13 f., vi. 7 ἢ, and Matt. x. 1 f.), In fact, — 
Matthew expressly limits their mission to Palestine. “Go not on 
the road of the Gentiles, and enter no city of the Samaritans ; 
rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. x. 5, 6). — 
And so in x, 23: ‘Ye shall not have covered the cities of Israel, — 
before the Son of man comes.”! The story of the Syro-Pheenician — 

= hee 


a provisional mission, Ifthe saying is genuine, the Gentile mission cannot have | 
lain within the horizon of Jesus.—There is no need to take the ἡγεμόνες and 
βασιλεῖς of Matt. x. 18, Mark xiii. 9 as pagans, and Matthew’s addition (omitted 
by Mark) of καὶ rots ἔθνεσιν to the words els μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς can hardly be 
understood except as a supplement in the sense of xxviii. 19 f. Though Mark 
(vi. 7 f.; cp. Luke ix. 1 f.) omits the limitation of the mission to Palestine and 
the Jewish people, he does not venture to assign the mission any universal scope, 
‘* Mark never says it in so many words, nor does he lay any stress upon it; but i 
is self-evident that he regards the mission of Jesus as confined to the Jews” (Well- | 
hausen on Mark vii. 29). 

1 This verse precludes the hypothesis that the speech of Jesus referred merely to — 



woman is almost of greater significance, Neither evangelist leaves 
it open to question that this incident represented an exceptional case 
for Jesus ;! and the exception proves the rule. 

In Mark this section on the Syro-Pheenician woman is the only 
passage where the missionary efforts of Jesus appear positively 
restricted to the Jewish people in Palestine. Matthew, however, 
contains not merely the address on the disciples’ mission, but a 
further saying (xix. 28), to the effect that the twelve are one day 
to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. No word here of the Gentile 

Only twice does Mark make Jesus allude to the gospel being 
preached in future throughout the world: in the eschatological 
address (xiii. 10, “The gospel must first be preached to all the 
nations,” 1.6., before the end arrives), and in the story of the 
anointing at Bethany (xiv. 9), where we read: “ Wherever this 
gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, what this 
woman hath done shall be also told, in memory of her.” The 
former passage puts into the life of Jesus an historical theo- 
logoumenon, which is hardly original. The latter excites strong 
suspicion, not with regard to what precedes it, but in connection 
with the saying of Jesus in verses 8-9. It is a hysteron proteron, 
and moreover the solemn assurance is striking. Some obscure 
controversy must underlie the words—a controversy which turned 
upon the preceding scene not only when it happened, but at a 
still later date. Was it ever suspected ? 8 

! According to Matthew (xv. 24), Jesus distinctly says, ‘I was sent only to the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The πρῶτον of Mark vii, 27 is not to be pressed, 
as it is by many editors, 

2 Here we may also include the saying: ‘* Pray that your flight occur not on the 
Sabbath ” (Matt. xxiv. 20). Note further that the parable of the two sons (Matt. 
xxi. 28 f.) does zo¢ refer to Jews and Gentiles. The labourers in the vineyard 
(Matt. xx. 1 f.) are not to be taken as Gentiles—not, at any rate, as the evangelist 
tells the story. Nor are Gentiles to be thought of even in xxii. 9. 

8 T leave out of account the section on the wicked husbandmen, as it says nothing 
about the Gentile mission either in Mark’s version (xii. 1 ἢ), or in Matthew’s 
(xxi, 33 f.). The words of Matt. xxi. 43 (‘‘God’s kingdom shall be given to a 
nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”) do not refer to the Gentiles; it is the 
*‘nation” as opposed to the official Israel. Mark on purpose speaks merely of 
** others,” to whom the vineyard is to be given. ‘‘ On purpose,’ I say, for we 
may see from this very allegory, which can hardly have been spoken by Jesus 
himself (see Jiilicher’s Glezchnissreden, ii. pp. 405 f., though I would not commit 
myself on the point), how determined Mark was to keep the Gentile mission apart 
from the gospel, and how consistently Matthew retains the setting of the latter 
within the Jewish nation. The parable invited the evangelists to represent Jesus 
making some allusion to the Gentile mission, but both of them resisted the invita- 


These two sayings are also given in Matthew ! (xxiv. 14, xxvi. 13), 
who preserves a further saying which has the Gentile world in view, 
yet whose prophetic manner arouses no suspicion of its authenticity. 
In viii. 11 we read: “I tell you, many shall come from east and 
west, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the 
kingdom of heaven, but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out.” 
Why should not Jesus have said this? Even among the words of 
John the Baptist (iii. 9) do we not read : “ Think not to say to your- 
selves, we have Abraham as our father ; for I tell you, God is able 
to raise up children for Abraham out of these stones”? 

We conclude, then, that both evangelists refrain from inserting 
any allusion to the Gentile mission into the framework of the public 
preaching of Jesus, apart from the eschatological address and the 
somewhat venturesome expression which occurs in the story of the 
anointing at Bethany. But while Matthew delimits the activity 
of Jesus positively and precisely, Mark adopts what we may term a 
neutral position, though for all that he does not suppress the story 
of the Syro-Phoenician woman. 

All this throws into more brilliant relief than ever the words of 
the risen Jesus in Matt. xxviii. 19 f. Matthew must have been 
fully conscious of the disparity between these words and the 
earlier words of Jesus; nay, more, he must have deliberately 
chosen to give expression to that disparity.2, At the time when 

tion (see further, Luke xx. 9 ἢ). Wellhausen (on Matt. xxi. 43) also observes: 
ΒΥ the phrase ‘another nation’ we may understand that Jewish, not simply 
Gentile, Christians were so meant ; for ἔθνος is characterised ethically, not nation- 

1 We may disregard the sayings in v. 13-14 (‘Ye are the salt of the earth,” 
‘* Ye are the light of the world ”), as well as the fact that in Mark alone (xi, 17) 
πᾶσι Tots ἔθνεσιν (a citation from Isa. lvi. 7) is added to the words: ‘‘ My house 
shall be a house of prayer.” The addition ‘‘emphasizes not the universality of 
the house of prayer, but simply the idea of the house of prayer ” (Wellhausen), 

2 Unless xxviii. 19 f. is a later addition to the gospel. It is impossible to be 
certain on this point. There is a certain subtlety, of which one would fain believe 
the evangelist was incapable, in keeping his Gentile Christian readers, as it were, 
upon the rack with sayings which confined the gospel to Israel, just in order to let 
them off in the closing paragraph. Nor are the former sayings presented in such 
a way as to suggest that they were afterwards to be taken back. On the other — 
hand, we must observe that the first evangelist opens with the story of the wise 
men from the East (though even this section admits of a strictly Jewish Christian 
interpretation), that he includes viii. 11, that he shows his interest in the people 
who sat in darkness (iv. 13 £.), that he describes Jesus (xii. 21) as One in whose 
name the Gentiles trust, that he contemplates the preaching of the gospel to 
all the Gentiles in the eschatological speech and in the story of the anointing at 
Bethany, and that no positive proofs can be adduced for regarding xxviii. 19 f. as 


a oe 


- our gospels were written, a Lord and Saviour who had confined his 
_ preaching to the Jewish people without even issuing a single 

command to prosecute the universal mission, was an utter im- 
possibility. If no such command had been issued before his death, 
it must have been imparted by him as the glorified One. 

The conclusion, therefore, must be that Jesus never issued such a 
command at all, but that this version of his life was due to the 
historical developments of a later age, the words being appropriately 
put into the mouth of the risen Lord, Paul, too, knew nothing of 
such a general command.! 

Luke’s standpoint, as a reporter of the words of Jesus, does 
not differ from that of the two previous evangelists, a fact 
which is perhaps most significant of all. He has delicately 
coloured the introductory history with universalism,’ while at 
the close, like Matthew, he makes the risen Jesus issue the 
command to preach the gospel to all nations.? But in his treat- 
ment of the intervening material he follows Mark; that is, he 
preserves no sayings which expressly confine the activity of Jesus 
to the Jewish nation,‘ but, on the other hand, he gives neither 
word nor incident which describes that activity as universal,° 

an interpolation. It is advisable, then, to credit the writer with a remarkable | 

historical sense, which made him adhere almost invariably to the traditional frame- 
work of Christ’s preaching, in order to break it open at the very close of his work, | 
Mark’s method of procedure was more simple: he excluded the missionary question 
altogether ; at least that is the only explanation of his attitude. 

1 It is impossible*and quite useless to argue with those who see nothing but an 
inadmissible bias in the refusal to accept traditions about Jesus eating and drinking 
and instructing his disciples after death. 

2 Cp. i. 32 (‘Son of the Highest”), ii. 10, 11 (‘‘ joy to all people,” ‘‘ Saviour”), 
li. 14 (‘‘gloria in excelsis”), ii. 32 (‘‘a light to lighten the Gentiles”), and also 
(iii. 23 f.) the genealogy of Jesus traced back to Adam. 

8 xxiv. 47, also Acts i, 8: ‘* Ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in 
all Judzea and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.” 

4 An indirect allusion to the limitation of his mission might be found in xxii. 30 
= Matt. xix. 28 (cp. p. 41), but this meaning need not be read into it. 

> All sorts of unconvincing attempts have been made to drag this in; ¢.g., at 
Peter’s take of fish (v. 1 f.), at the Samaritan stories (x. 33 f., xvii. 16), and at the 

' parable of the prodigal son (xv. 11 f.3 cp. Jiilicher’s Glezchu., ii. pp. 333 f.). 

Even the stories of the despatch of the apostles (vi. 13 f.) and the remarkable com- 
mission of the seventy (x. 1 f.) do not by any means represent the Gentile mission. 
It is by a harmless Zysteron proteron that the twelve are now and then described 

_ by Luke as ‘‘the apostles.” The programme of the speech at Nazareth (iv. 26-27) 
_ is here of primary importance, but even in it the universalism of Jesus does not 

Seem to rise above that of the prophets. With regard to xxi. 24= Mark xiii, lo= 

Matt. xxiv. 14, we may say that Luke was quite the most careful of all those who 


and at no point does he deliberately correct the existing 
tradition,! | 

In this connéction the fourth gospel need not be considered at all, 
After the Gentile mission, which had been undertaken with such 
ample results during the first two Christian generations, the fourth 
gospel expands the horizon of Christ’s preaching and even of John 
the Baptist’s ; corresponding to this, it makes the Jews a reprobate 
people from the very outset, despite the historical remark in iy. 22. 
Even setting aside the prologue, we at once come upon (i. 29) the 
words put into the mouth of the Baptist, “ Behold the Lamb of God ~ 
which taketh away the sin of the world.”’ And, as a whole, the gospel 
is saturated with statements of a directly universalistic character. 
Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and God so loved the world that he 
sent him. We may add passages like those upon the “ other sheep” 
and the one flock (x. 16). But the most significant thing of all is 
that this gospel makes Greeks ask after Jesus (xii. 20 f.), the latter 
furnishing a formal explanation of the reasons why he could not 
satisfy the Greeks as yet. He must first of all die. It i8 as the 
exalted One that he will first succeed in drawing all men to himself. 
‘We can feel here the pressure of a serious problem. 

It would be misleading to introduce here any sketch of the 
preaching of Jesus, or even of its essential principles,? for it never 
became the missionary preaching of the later period even to the 
Jews. It was the basis of that preaching, for the gospels were 
written down in order to serve as a means of evangelization; but 
the mission preaching was occupied with the messiahship of Jesus, _ 
his speedy return, and his establishment of God’s kingdom (if Jews _ 
were to be met), or with the unity of God, creation, the Son of God, 
and judgment (if Gentiles were to be reached). Alongside of this 
the words of Jesus of course exercised a silent and effective mission 
of their own, whilst the historical picture furnished by the gospels, 

attempted with fine feeling to reproduce the prophet’s style. He never mentions 
the necessity of the gospel being preached throughout all the world before the end 
arrives, but writes: ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἔθνων (‘‘till the times of the 
Gentiles be fulfilled”), As for the Samaritan stories, it does not seem as if Luke 
here had any ulterior tendency of an historical and religious character in his mind, 
such as is evident in John iv. 

1 The story of the Syro-Phcenician woman, which stands between the two stories 
of miraculous feeding in Mark and Matthew, was probably quite unknown to Luke, 
Its omission was not deliberate. If he knew it, his omission would: have to be 
regarded as a conscious correction of the earlier tradition, 

2 Cp. my lectures on What ἐς Christianity ? 


together with faith in the exalted Christ, exerted a powerful 
influence over catechumens and believers. 

Rightly and wisely, people no longer noticed the local and 
temporal traits either in this historical sketch or in these sayings. 
They found there a vital love of God and men, which may be 
described as implicit universalism ; a discounting of everything ex- 
ternal (position, personality, sex, outward worship, etc.), which 
made irresistibly for inwardness of character ; and a protest against 
the entire doctrines of “the ancients,’ which gradually rendered 
antiquity valueless.! One of the greatest revolutions in the history 
of religion was initiated in this way—initiated and effected, more- 
over, without any revolution! All that Jesus Christ promulgated 
was the overthrow of the temple, and the judgment impending 
upon the nation and its leaders. He shattered Judaism, and 
brought out the kernel of the religion of Israel. Thereby—i.e., by 
his preaching of God as the Father, and by his own death—he 
_ founded the universal religion, which at the same time was the 
religion of the Son. 

1 On ‘‘ The Attitude of Jesus towards the Old Testament,” see the conclusive 
tractate by E. Klostermann (1904) under this title. No one who grasps this attitude 
upon the part of Jesus will make unhistorical assertions upon the ‘‘ world-mission.”’ 




‘“‘Curist1 mors potentior erat quam vita.” The death οὗ 

Christ was more effective than his life; it failed to shatter faith 
in him as one sent by God, and hence the conviction of his 
resurrection arose. He was still the Messiah, his disciples held 
—for there was no alternative now between this and the rejec- 
tion of his claims. As Messiah, he could not be held of death. 
He must be alive; he must soon return in glory. ‘The disciples 

became chosen members of his kingdom, witnesses and—apostles. — 
‘They testified not only to his preaching and his death, but to — 
his resurrection, for they had seen him and received his spirit. — 

They became new men. A current of divine life seized them, 
and a new fire was burning in their hearts. Fear, doubt, 

cowardice—all this was swept away. ‘The duty and the right — 
of preaching this Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ pressed upon — 

them with irresistible power. How could they keep silence when 
they knew that the new age of the world was come, and that God 

had already begun the redemption of his people? An old tradi- — 

tion (Acts i.—ii.) relates that the preaching of the disciples began 
in Jerusalem on the fifty-first day after the crucifixion. We have 
no reason to doubt so definite a statement. They must have 

returned from Galilee to Jerusalem and gathered together there — 

—a change which suggests that they wished to work openly, in 

the very midst of the Jewish community. They remained there for | 

some years '—for a period of twelve years indeed, according to 

τ ‘We may perhaps assume that they wished to be on the very spot when the 
Lord returned and the heavenly Jerusalem descended. It is remarkable how 
Galilee falls into the background: we hear nothing about it. 



one early account! ignored by the book of Acts (cp., however, 
xii. 17)—they would undertake mission tours in the vicinity ; 
_ the choice of James, who did not belong to the twelve, as _presi- 
dent of the church at Jerusalem,? tells in favour of this con- 
clusion, whilst the evidence for it lies in Acts, and above all in 
1 Cor. ix. 5. 
The gospel was at first preached to the Jews exclusively. 
- The church of Jerusalem was founded ; presently churches in 
Judea (1 Thess. ii. 14, αἱ ἐκκλησίαι Tov θεοῦ αἱ odca ἐν τῇ 
Ἰουδαίᾳ: Gal. i. 22, ἤμην ἀγνοούμενος τῷ προσώπῳ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις 
τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας ταῖς ἐν Χριστῷ), Galilee, Samaria (Acts i. 8, viii. 
1 f, ix. 31, xv. 3), and on the sea-coast (Acts ix. 32 f.) followed.* 
The initial relationship of these churches to Judaism is not 
quite clear. As a matter of fact, so far from being clear, 
it is full of inconsistencies. On the one hand, the narrative 
of Acts (see iii. ἢ), which describes the Jerusalem church as 

1 This early account (in the preaching of Peter, cited by Clem., Stvom., vi. 5. 
43) is of course untrustworthy ; it pretends to know a word spoken by the Lord 
to his disciples, which ran thus: ‘‘ After twelve years, go out into the world, 
lest any should say, we have not heard” (werd ιβ΄ ἔτη ἐξέλθετε εἰς τὸν κόσμον, μή 
τις εἴπῃ " οὐκ ἠκούσαμεν). But although the basis of the statement is apologetic 
and untrue, it may be right about the twelve years, for in the Acta Petri cum 
Stmone, 5, and in Apollonius (in Eus., 4.Z., v. 18. 14), the word (here also a 
word of the Lord) runs that the apostles were to remain for twelve years at 
Jerusalem, without any mention of the exodus εἰς τὸν κόσμον. Here, too, the 
*“word of the Lord” lacks all support, but surely the fact of the disciples re- 
maining for twelve years in Jerusalem can hardly have been invented. Twelve 
(or eleven) years after the resurrection is a period which is also fixed by other 
sources (see von Dobschiitz in Zexte τε, Unters., XI. i. p. 53 f.); indeed it 
underlies the later calculation of the year when Peter died (30+ 12+25=67 A.D.). 
The statement of the pseudo-Clementine Recognitions (i. 43, ix. 29), that the 
apostles remained seven years in Jerusalem, stands by itself. 

2 Acts assumes that during the opening years the apostles superintended the 
church in Jerusalem ; all of a sudden (xii. 17) James appears as the president. 

3 The parallel mission of Simon Magus in Samaria may be mentioned here in 
passing. It had important results locally, but it failed in its attempt to turn the 
Christian movement to account. The details are for the most part obscure; it is 
clear, however, that Simon held himself to be a religious founder (copying Jesus 
τς ἴῃ this ?), and that subsequently a Hellenistic theosophy or gnosis was associated 
with his religion. Christians treated the movement from the very outset with 
unabated abhorrence. There must have been, at some early period, a time when 
the movement proved a real temptation for the early church: to what extent, 
however, we cannot tell. Did Simon contemplate any fusion? (Acts viii. and 
later sources). 


exposed to spasmodic persecutions almost from the start, is 
corroborated by the evidence of Paul (1 Thess. ii. 14, ὅτι τὰ 
αὐτά ἐπάθετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν, καθὼς Kal 
αὐτοὶ [i.e. the churches in Judea] ὑπὸ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων), so that 
it seems untenable to hold with some Jewish scholars that origin- 
ally, and indeed for whole decades, peace reigned between the — 
Christians and the Jews.!_ On the other hand, it is certain that — 
peace and toleration also prevailed, that the churches remained _ 
unmolested for a considerable length of time (Acts ix. $1, ; 


ἡ ἐκκλησία καθ᾽ ὅλης τῆς Ιουδαίας καὶ Τ᾿αλιλαίας καὶ Σαμαρίας 
εἶχεν εἰρήνην), and that several Christians were highly thought 
of by their Jewish brethren.* By their strict observance of the Ὁ 
law and their devoted attachment to the temple,’ they fulfilled — 
a Jew’s principal duty, and since it was in the future that they 
expected Jesus as their Messiah—his first advent having been _ 
no more than a preliminary step—this feature might be over- 
looked, as an idiosyncrasy, by those who were inclined to think 
well of them for their strict observance of the law.4 At least 

1 Cp. Joél’s Biche in die Religionsgeschichte (Part II., 1883). The course 
of events in the Palestinian mission may be made out from Matt. x. 17 fi: 
παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια καὶ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν μαστιγώσουσιν ὑμᾶς 

. παραδώσει δὲ ἀδελφὺς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον καὶ ἐπαναστή- 
σονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς. . .. ὅταν δὲ διώκωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐν 
τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ, φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν. 

2 Hegesippus (in Eus., 4.Z., ii. 22) relates this of James. No doubt his 
account is far from lucid, but the repute of James among the Jews may be safely 
inferred from it. 

3 Cp. Acts xxi. 20, where the Christians of Jerusalem address Paul thus: 
θεωρεῖς, ἀδελφέ, πόσαι μυριάδες εἰσὶν ἐν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τῶν πεπιστευκότων, καὶ 
πάντες ζηλωταὶ τοῦ νόμου ὑπάρχουσιν. This passage at once elucidates and con- 
firms the main point of Hegesippus’ account of James. From one very ancient 
tradition (in a prologue to Mark’s gospel, c. 200 A.D.), that when Mark became a 
Christian he cut off his thumbs in order to escape serving as a priest, we may 
infer that many a Christian Jew of the priestly class in Jerusalem still continued to 
discharge priestly functions in those primitive days. 

4 As Weizsicker justly remarks (Ajfos¢. Zectalter), p. 38; Eng. trans., i. 46 f.): 
‘The primitive Christians held fast to the faith and polity of their nation. They 
had no desire to be renegades, nor was it possible to regard them as such. Even 
if they did not maintain the whole cultus, this did not endanger their allegiance, 
for Judaism tolerated not merely great latitude in doctrinal views, but also a 
partial observance of the cultus—as is sufficiently proved by the contemporary 
case of the Essenes. The Christians did not lay themselves open to the charge of 
violating the law. They assumed no aggressive attitude. That they appeared 
before the local courts as well as before the Sanhedrim, the supreme national 

ai Att N oes Saale '.-. a 

ee ee ee ες..." 




this is the only way in which we can picture to ourselves the 
state of matters. ‘The more zealous of their Jewish compatriots 
can have had really nothing but praise for the general Christian 

hope of the Messiah’s sure and speedy advent. Doubtless it was 
in their view a grievous error for Christians to believe that 
they already knew the person of the future Messiah. But the 
crucifixion seemed to have torn up this belief by the roots, so 
that every zealous Jew could anticipate the speedy collapse of 
“the offence,” while the Messianic ardour would survive. As 
for the Jewish authorities, they could afford to watch the progress 
of events, contenting themselves with a general surveillance. 
Meantime, however, the whole movement was confined to the 
lower classes.’ 

council, tallies with the fact that, on the whole, they remained Jews, It is in 
itself quite conceivable (cp. Matt. x. 17) that... . individual Christians 
should have been prosecuted, but discharged on the score of insufficient evidence, 
or that this discharge was accompanied by some punishment. . . . The whole 
position of Jewish Christians within the Jewish commonwealth precludes the idea 
that they made a practice of establishing a special synagogue for themselves on 
Jewish soil, or avowedly formed congregations beside the existing synagogues. 
As the synagogue was a regular institution of the Jewish community, such a 
course of action would have been equivalent to a complete desertion of all 
_ national associations and obligations whatsoever, and would therefore have re- 
sembled a revolt. The only question is, whether the existence of synagogues for 
foreigners in Jerusalem gave them a pretext for setting up an independent one 
there. It is our Acts that mentions this in a passage which is beyond suspicion ; 
it speaks (vi, 9) about the synagogue of the Libertini, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, 
and those from Cilicia and Asia who disputed with Stephen. It is not quite clear 
whether we are to think here of a single synagogue embracing all these people, or 
of several—and if so, how many. The second alternative is favoured by this con- 
sideration, that the foreigners who, according to this account, assembled in 
meeting-places of their own throughout Jerusalem, proceeded on the basis of 
their nationality. In that case one might conjecture that the Christians, as 
natives of Galilee (Acts i. 11, ii. 7), took up a similar position. Yet it cannot be 
proved that the name was applied to them. From Acts xxiv. 5 we must assume 
_ that they were known rather by the name of ‘ Nazarenes,’ and as this title 
_ probably described the origin, not of the body, but of its founder, its character 
was different. .-.. But even if the Christians had, like the Libertini, formed a 
synagogue of Galileans in Jerusalem, this would not throw much light upon the 
organization of their society, for we know nothing at all about the aims or 
regulations under which the various nationalities organized themselves into 
“separate synagogues. And in regard to the question as a whole, we must not 
overlook the fact that in our sources the term synagogue is never applied to 
2 Cp. what is said of Gamaliel, Acts v. 34 f. For the lower classes, see John 
vii, 48, 49: μή τις ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἐπίστευσεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἤ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων ; 


But no sooner did the Gentile mission, with its lack of restric- 
tions (from the Jewish point of view) or laxity of restrictions, 
become an open fact, than this period of toleration, or of spas- 
modic and not very violent reactions on the part of Judaism, had 
to cease. Severe reprisals followed. Yet the Gentile mission 
at first drove a wedge into the little company of Christians 
themselves ; it prompted those who disapproved of it to retire 
closer to their non-Christian brethren. The apostle Paul had to 
complain of and to contend with a double opposition. He was 
persecuted by Jewish Christians who were zealous for the law, 
no less than by the Jews (so 1 Thess. ii. 15 f., ἐκδιώξαντες ἡμᾶς 
: . κωλύοντες ἡμᾶς τοῖς ἔθνεσιν λαλῆσαι: ἵνα σωθῶσιν)  {π6 
latter had really nothing whatever to do with the Gentile 
mission, but evidently they did not by any means look on with 
folded arms. | 

It is not quite clear how the Gentile mission arose. Certainly 
Paul was not the first missionary to the Gentiles.1 But a priori 
considerations and the details of the evidence alike may justify 
us in concluding that while the transition to the Gentile mission 
was gradual, it was carried out with irresistible energy. Here, — 
-too, the whole ground had been prepared already, by the inner — 
condition of Judaism, ὁ.6., by the process of decomposition ‘ 
, within Judaism which made for universalism, as well as by the — 
graduated system of the proselytes. To this we have already 
alluded in the first chapter. 

ἀλλὰ ὃ ὄχλος οὗτος ὃ μὴ γινώσκων τὸν νόμον ἐπάρατοί εἶσιν. Yet Acts (vi. 7) — 
brings out the fact that priests (a great crowd of them—moAbs ὄχλος---ἰξ ἴδ 
alleged), no less than Pharisees (xv. 5), also joined the movement, Ὶ 
1 Paul never claims in his letters to have been absolutely the pioneer of the 
Gentile mission, Had it been so, he certainly would not have failed to mention — 
it. Gal. i. 16 merely says that the apostle understood already that his conversion — 
meant a commission to the Gentiles; it does not say that this commission was 
something entirely new. Nor need it be concluded that Paul started on this 
Gentile mission zmmediately; the object of the revelation of God’s Son (ἵνα 
εὐαγγελίζωμαι αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν) may have been only disclosed to him by 
degrees. All we are to understand is that after his conversion he needed no 
further conflict of the inner man in order to undertake thé Gentile mission. ~ 
Nevertheless, it is certain that Paul remains 756 Gentile missionary. It was he 
who really established the duty and the right of Gentile missions ; it was he who 
raised the movement out of its tentative beginnings into a mission that embraced — 
all the world. 

= a oe le 

. According to Acts vi. 7 f.,1 the primitive Christian community 
jn Jerusalem was composed of two elements, one consisting of 
Palestinian Hebrews, and the other of Jews from the dispersion 
(Ἑλληνισταί).Σ A cleavage occurred between both at an early 
stage, which led to the appointment of seven guardians of the 
poor, belonging to the second of these groups and bearing Greek 
names. Within this group of men, whom we may consider on 
the whole to have been fairly enlightened, ἐ.6.. less strict than 
others in literal observance of the law,’ Stephen rose to special 
prominence. The charge brought against him before the 
Sanhedrim was to the effect that he went on uttering blasphem- 
ous language against “ the holy place” and the law, by affirming 
that Jesus was to destroy the temple and alter the customs 
enjoined by Moses. This charge Acts describes as false ; but, as 
the speech of Stephen proves, it was well founded so far as it 
went, the falsehood consisting merely in the conscious purpose 

1 To the author of Acts, the transition from the Jewish to the Gentile mission, 
_ with the consequent rejection of Judaism, was a fact of the utmost importance ; 
indeed one may say that he made the description of this transition the main object 
of his book. This is proved by the framework of the first fifteen chapters, and 
by the conclusion of the work in xxviii, 23-28 (verses 30-31 being a postscript). 
After quoting from Isa, vi. 9, 1o—a prophecy which cancels Judaism, and which 
the author sees to be now fulfilled—he proceeds to make Paul address the Jews as 
follows: γνωστὸν οὖν ἔστω ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπεστάλη τοῦτο τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ 
᾿ θεοῦ αὐτοὶ καὶ ἀκούσονται. This is to affirm, as explicitly as possible, that the 
gospel has been given, not to Jews, but to the nations at large.—The above account 
of the work of the Gentile mission rests upon Acts, in so far as I consider its 
᾿ statements trustworthy. The author was a Paulinist, but he found much simpler 
grounds for Christian universalism than did Paul ; or rather, he needed no grounds 
for it at all—the gospel being in itself universal—although he does not ignore the 
_ fact that at the outset it was preached to none but Jews, and that the Gentile 
mission was long in developing. The internal divisions of Christianity, moreover, 
_ are scarcely noticed. 
2 Acts vi. 5 (Νικόλαον προσήλυτον) shows that there were also Christians in 
_ Jerusalem who had been previously proselytes. The addition of ᾿Αντιοχέα betrays 
_ the author’s special interest in this city. 
3 See Weizsiicker, Ajfost. Zettalter (9), pp. 51 f. ; Eng. trans., i,62f. Naturally 
| they were ‘‘ good” Jews, otherwise they would never have settled at Jerusalem ; 
but we may assume that these synagogues of the Libertini (Romans), the 
; Cyrenians, the Alexandrians, the Cilicians and Asiatics (Acts vi. 9), embraced 
Hellenistic Jews as well, who had mitigated the Jewish religion with their 
Hellenistic culture. Upon the other hand, they also included exclusive fanatics, 
_who were responsible for the first outburst against Christianity. Palestinian 
_ Judaism (7,2., the Sanhedrim) sided with them. The earliest Christian persecution 
_ thus appears as a quarrel and cleavage among the Diaspora Jews at Jerusalem. 
VOL. I. 


OF ᾿ 


attributed to the words in question. Stephen did not attack | 
the temple and the law in order to dispute their divine origin, — 
but he did affirm the limited period of these institutions. In 
this way he did set himself in opposition to the popular Judaism 
of his time, but. hardly in opposition to all that was Jewish. It 
is beyond doubt that within Judaism itself, especially through- 
out the Diaspora, tendencies were already abroad by which the 
temple-cultus,! and primarily its element of bloody sacrifices, 
was regarded as unessential and even of doubtful validity. 
Besides, it is equally certain that in many a Jewish circle, for 
external and internal reasons, the outward observance of the 
law was not considered of any great value; it was more or less 
eclipsed by the moral law. Consequently it is quite conceivable, — 
historically and psychologically, that a Jew of the Diaspora who — 
had been won over to Christianity should associate the supreme 
and exclusive moral considerations urged by the new faith* with 
the feelings he had already learned to cherish, viz., that the — 
temple and the ceremonial law were relatively useless; it is also 
conceivable that he should draw the natural inference—Jesus the 
Messiah will abolish the temple-cultus and alter the ceremonial ὦ 
law. Observe the future tense. Acts seems here to give an | 
extremely literal report. Stephen did not urge any changes—_ 
these were to be effected by Jesus, when he returned as Messiah. 
All Stephen did was to announce them by way of prophecy, — 
thus implying that the existing arrangements were valueless. — 
He did not urge the Gentile mission; but by his words and 
death he helped to set it up. | 
When Stephen was stoned, he died, like Huss, for a cause 
whose issues he probably did not foresee. It is not surprising 
that he was stoned, for orthodox Judaism could least afford ἰὸς 
tolerate this kind of believer in Jesus. His adherents were also” ; 

1 Particularly when it had been profaned over and over again by a secularized ᾿ 

2 At this point it may be also recalled that Jesus himself foretold the overthrow - 
of the temple. With Weizsiicker (of. cz¢., p. 53; Eng. trans., i. 65) I consider 
that saying of our Lord is genuine. It ikonene the stantial of an inner 
development in his disciples which finally led up to the Gentile mission. Cpa 
Wellhausen’s commentary on the synoptic gospels for a discussion of the saying’s 
significance, ue 



ersecuted—the grave peril of the little company of Christians 
yeing thus revealed in a flash. All except the apostles (Acts 
ii. 1) had to leave Jerusalem. Evidently the latter had ποῖν 
t declared themselves as a body on the side of Stephen in the 
tter of his indictment. The scattered Christians went abroad 
roughout Judea and Samaria; nolens volens they acted as 
issionaries, 2.¢., as apostles (Acts viii. 4). The most important 
of them was Philip, the guardian of the poor, who preached in 
Samaria and along the sea-board ; there is a long account of how 
_he convinced and baptized an Ethiopian officer, a eunuch (Acts 
viii. 26 f.). This is perfectly intelligible. The man was not a 
Brew. He belonged to the “ God-fearing class” (poBovmevos τὸν 
θεόν). Besides, even if he had been circumcised, he could not 
have become a Jew. Thus, when this semi-proselyte, this eunuch, 

was brought into the Christian church, it meant that one stout. 
barrier had fallen. 

Still, a single case is not decisive, and even the second case of 
this kind, that of Peter baptizing the “God-fearing” (φοβούμενος) 
: Cornelius at Czesarea, cannot have had at that early period the 

-palmary importance which the author of Acts attaches to it.? 

is Ὁ This seems to me an extremely important fact, which at the same time 

corroborates the historical accuracy of Acts at this point. Evidently the 
Christians at this period were persecuted with certain exceptions ; none were 
disturbed whose devotion to the temple and the law was unimpeachable, and 
_ these still included Peter and the rest of the apostles. Acts makes it perfectly 
“plain that it was only at a later, though not much later, period that Peter took his 
first step outside strict Judaism. Weizsiicker’s reading of the incident is different 
: (op. cit., pp. 60 f. ; Eng. trans., i. 75). He holds that the first step was taken at 
“this period ; but othentine he is ΟΝ in saying that ‘‘it is obvious that nothing 
was so likely to create and strengthen this conviction (viz., that the future, the 
“Salvation to be obtained in the kingdom itself, could no longer rest upon the 
| obligations of the law) as Pharisaic attacks prompted by the view that faith in 
Jesus and his kingdom was prejudicial to the inviolable duration of the law, and 
to belief in its power of securing salvation. The persecution, therefore, liberated 
he Christian faith ; it was the means by which it came to know itself. And in 
his sense it was not without its fruits in the primitive church.” 

| 7 Atleast the importance did not lie in the direction in which the author of 
Acts looked to find it. Still, the case was one of great moment in this sense, 
that it forced Peter to side at last with that theory and practice which had 
hitherto (see the note above) been followed by none save the friends of Stephen 
(excluding the primitive apostles). The conversion of the Czsarean officer led 
eter, and with Peter a section of the church at Jerusalem, considerably further. 
it must be admitted, however, that the whole passage makes one suspect its 


So long as it was a question of proselytes, even of proselytes in 
the widest sense of the term, there was always one standpoint 
‘from which the strictest Jewish Christian himself could reconcile 
his mind to their admission: he could regard the proselytes | 
thus admitted as adherents of the Christian conan in, ἀπο. 
wider sense of the term, 1.6... as proselytes 5.11. τ τ τ ἢ 
The next step, a much more decisive one, was taken at 
Antioch, again upon the initiative of the scattered adherents — 
of Stephen (Acts xi. 19 f.), who had reached Phoenicia, Cyprus, Ἰ 
and Antioch on their missionary wanderings. The majority of 
them confined themselves strictly to the Jewish mission. But” 
some, who were natives of Cyprus and Crete,! preached also ἕο. 


historical character. Luke has treated it with a circumstantial detail which a 
miss elsewhere in his work ; he was persuaded that it marked the great turning-— | 
point of the mission. ἢ 
1 No names are given in the second passage, but afterwards (xiii. 1) Barnabas 
the Cypriote, Simeon Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, and Saul are a 
as prophets and teachers at Antioch. As Barnabas and Saul did not reach i 
Antioch until after the founding of the church (cp. xi. 22 f.), we may probably re-_ 
cognize in the other three persons the founders of the church, and consequently 
the first missionaries to the heathen. But Barnabas must be mchiteaed first of all” 
among the originators of the Gentile mission. He must have reached the broader” 
outlook independently, as indeed is plain from Paul’s relations with him. A 
Cypriote Levite, he belonged from the very beginning to the church of Jerusalem — 
(perhaps he was a follower of Jesus: cp. Clem., S¢vom., II. 20; Eus., HZ., i. 12 1 
Clem. Rom. Homz., i. 9), in which an act of voluntary sacrifice won for him a high 
position (Acts iv. 36 f.). 116 certainly acted as an intermediary between Paul and > 
the primitive apostles, so long as such services were necessary (Acts ix. 27), just 
as he went between Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts xi. 22 f.). On what is called” 
the ‘‘ first mission-tour ” of Paul, he was almost the leading figure (Acts xiii.—xiv.), 
But his devotion to the Gentile mission seems to have affected his early prestige at 
Jerusalem ; he was suspected, and, like Paul, he had to justify his conduct (Acts xv., 
Gal. ii.). In the trying situation which ensued at Antioch, he fell under Peter’s” 
influence and failed to stand the test (so Paul says, at least, in Gal. ii. 13, but 
what would have been ‘‘hypocrisy” to Paul need not have been so in the case of 
Barnabas), His co-operation with Paul in mission-work now ceases (Acts also” 
makes them separate owing to a misunderstanding ; but, on this view, xv. 36 f. 
they disagreed upon the question of Mark as a coadjutor), Barnabas goes with 
Mark to Cyprus. When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians and Galatians, Barnabas 
was still active as a missionary, and his name was familiar to the Corinthians 
(cp. 1 Cor. ix. 6). That Paul narrates to the Galatians with such exact chron: 
ology the ‘‘ hypocrisy ” of Barnabas, shows how the apostle could not forget the 
crisis when the Gentile mission was at stake, but it does not imply that Paul still 
felt himself at variance with Barnabas. The narrative simply mentions him in 
order to bring out sharply the magnitude of the disaster occasioned by Peter's 
pusillanimous conduct. The carefully chosen expression (καὶ BapydBas συναπήχθη 


the Greeks! in Antioch with excellent results. T'hey were the 
jist missionaries to the heathen ; they founded the first Gentile 
church, that of Antioch. In this work they were joined by 
_ Barnabas and Paul (Acts xi. 23 f.), who soon became the real 
leading spirits in the movement.? 
_ The converted Greeks in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia (to which 
_ Barnabas and Paul presently extended their mission), during 
this initial period were by no means drawn wholly from those 
_who had been “ God-fearing” (φοβούμενοι) already, although 
this may have been the origin of a large number.? At any rate 
_achurch was founded at Antioch which consisted for the most 
part of uncircumcised persons, and which now undertook the 
mission to the Gentiles (Acts xiii. 1 ἢ). For this church the 

_ shows that he was carried away half irresolutely. 1 Cor. i. 9 proves that Paul 
still recognized him as an apostle of Christ, and spoke of him as such in the 
churches (cp. also Col. iv. 10, which indicates clearly that Barnabas was also 
known to the Asiatic Christians as an important figure). But a hearty relationship 
between the two cannot have been ever restored, in spite of the great experiences 

_ they had shared for so long. Paul’s silence in his epistles and the silence of Acts 
- (after ch, xv.) are eloquent on this point, In the matter of the Gentile mission, 
however, Barnabas must be ranked next to Paul; in fact we may suspect, as the 

_ very sources permit us to do, that the services of Barnabas as a peace-maker amid 
the troubles and suspicions of the mother-church at Jerusalem were much more 

_ important than even the extant narratives disclose. Perhaps we have a writing of 
_ Barnabas —not the so-called ‘‘ Epistle of Barnabas,” but the Epistle to the 
_ Hebrews. The external evidence for his authorship is not weak, but it is not 
_ adequate, and the internal evidence tells against him. Did he go from Cyprus to 

work at Alexandria, as the pseudo-Clementine Homz/ies make out (i.-ii. ) ? 

+ So Acts x. 20, reading Ἕλληνες, not ‘EAAnviora. It is not surprising that 
the Gentile Christian mission began in Antioch, It was only in the international, 

. levelling society of a great city that such a movement could originate, or rather 
propagate itself, so far as it was not hampered by any new restriction in the 
_ sphere of principle. Most probably those early missionaries were not so hampered. 

It is very remarkable that there is no word of any opposition between Jewish 
and Gentile Christians at Antioch. The local Jewish Christians, scattered and 
- cosmopolitan as they were, must have joined the new community of Christians, 
_ who were free from the law, without more ado. It was the Jerusalem church 
_ which first introduced dissension at Antioch (cp, Acts xv. 1, Gal. ii. 11-13). 

2 All allusions to Antioch, direct or indirect, in the book of Acts are specially 
noticeable, for the tradition that Luke was a physician of Antioch deserves credence. 
~ In ch, vi., and in what immediately follows, there is a distinct line of reference to 
’ Antioch. 
᾿ς ὃ Cp. Havet, Le Christianisme, vol, iv. p.:102: ‘Je ne sais 5 y est entré, du 
_ yivant de Paul, un seul paien, je veux dire un homme qui ne conntit pas déja, 
᾿ avant d’y entrer, le judaisme et la Bible.” This is no doubt an exaggeration, but 
᾿ substantially it is accurate. 


= od lm 26 εκ 

_ sacrifice,* so that all the ceremonial part of the law was to be 



designation of Χριστιανοί (“ Christians,” Acts xi. 26) came into 
vogue, a name coined by their heathen opponents. This title — 
is itself a proof that the new community in Antioch stood out 
in bold relief from Judaism.* 

The Gentile Christian churches of Syria and Cilicia did notl 
observe the law, yet they were conscious of being the people of 
God in the fullest sense of the term, and were mindful to keep | 
in touch with the mother church of Jerusalem, as well as to beg 
recognized by her.?- The majority of these cosmopolitan ¢gon- 
verts were quite content with the assurance that God adil | 
already moved the prophets to proclaim the uselessness of © 

allegorically interpreted and understood in some moral sen 
This was also the view originally held by the other Gentile” 
Christian communities which, like that of Rome, were founded - 
by unknown missionaries. 

The apostle Paul, however, could not settle his position 
towards the law with such simplicity. For him no part of the 
law had been depreciated in value by any noiseless, disintegrating — 
influence of time or circumstances; on the contrary, the law Ὶ 
remained valid and operative in all its provisions. It could” 
not be abrogated save by him who had ordained it—i.e., by” 
God himself. Nor could even God abolish it save by affirming 
at the same time its rights—i.e., he must abolish it just by 
providing for its fulfilment. And this was what actually took 
place. By the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s” 
Son, upon the cross, the law was at once fulfilled and abolished. - 

1 Details on the name of ‘‘ Christian” in Book III, The theological vocabulary | 
of Gentile Christianity, so far as it needed one, must also have arisen in Antioch. - 
2 Cp. the narrative of Acts xi. 29 f., xii, 25, regarding a collection which the © 
recently founded church at Antioch sent to Jerusalem during the famine under 
Claudius. This was the famine in which Queen Helena of Adiabene gave much 
generous aid to the poor Jews of Jerusalem. 
* With regard to the sacrificial system, the right of abandoning the literal 
meaning had been clearly made out, as that system had already become antiquated 
and depreciated in the eyes of large sections of people, The rest of the law 
followed as a matter of course. 
4 ‘The post- apostolic literature sao with veutionien clearness that this was the 
popular view taken by the Gentile Christians ; so that it must have maintained it: 
vogue, despite the wide and powerful divergences of Paul’s own teaching. 


_ derivative (resulting from the possession of the Spirit and the 
_ new life which the apostle felt within himself), or primary 
_ (resulting from the assurance that™his sins were forgiven), or 
_ whether these two sources coalesced, is a question which need 
not occupy us here. ‘The point is, that Paul was convinced 
_ that the death and resurrection of Christ had inaugurated the» 
Ϊ new age. “ὙΠῸ future is already present, the Spirit reigns.” 
_ Hereby he firmly and unhesitatingly recognized the gospel to 
be the new /evel of religion, just as he also felt himself to be a 
__ new creature. The new religious level was the level of the 
_ Spirit and regeneration, of grace and faith, of peace and liberty ; 
; below and behind it lay everything old, including all the earlier 
_ revelations of God, since these were religions pertaining to the 
state of sin. ‘This it was which enabled Paul, Jew and Pharisee 
as he was, to venture upon the great conception with which he 
laid the basis of any sound philosophy of religion and of the 
whole science of comparative religion, viz., the collocation of the 
“natural” knowledge of God possessed by man (é.e¢., all that 
had developed in man under the sway of conscience) with the 
law of the chosen people (Rom. 1 f.). Both, Paul held, were 
revelations of God, though in different ways and of different 
values ; both represented what had been hitherto the supreme 
possession of mankind. Yet both had proved inadequate ; they 
had aggravated sin, and had ended in death. 

Now a new religion was im force. This meant that the 
Gentile mission was not a possibility but a duty, whilst freedom , 
from the law was not a concession but the distinctive and | 
blissful form which the gospel assumed for men. Its essence 
consisted in the fact that it was not law in any sense of the | 
term, but grace and a free gift. he Christian who had been 
born a Jew might have himself circumcised and keep. the law— 

_ which would imply that he considered the Jewish nation had 
still some valid part to play! in the world-wide plan of God. 
But even so, there was nothing in the law to secure the bliss of 

: 1 However, ag Christians of Jewish birth had, in Paul’s view, to live and eat 
side by side with Gentile Christians, the observance of the Jaw was broken down 

at one very vital point. It was only Paul’s belief in the nearness of the advent 
that may have prevented him from reflecting further on this problem, 


the Jewish Christian ; and as for the Gentile Christian, he was — 

not allowed either to practise circumcision or to keep the law. — 

In his case, such conduct would have meant that Christ had 
died in vain. 

Thus it was that Paul preached the crucified Christ to the 
Gentiles, and not only established the principle of the Gentile 
mission, but made it a reality. The work of his predecessors, 
when measured by his convictions, was loose and questionable ; 
it seemed to reach the same end as he did, but it was not en- 
tirely just to the law or to the gospel. Paul wrecked the re- 
ligion of Israel on the cross of Christ, in the very endeavour to 
comprehend it with a greater reverence and stricter obedience 
than his predecessors. ‘lhe day of Israel, he declared, had now 
expired. He honoured the Jewish Christian community at 

Jerusalem, the source of so much antagonism to himself, with a 
respect which is almost inconceivable ; but he made it perfectly — 

clear that “ the times of the Gentiles ” had arrived, and that if 
any Jewish Christian churches did not unite with the Gentile 
Christian churches to form the one “church of God,” they for- 
feited by this exclusiveness their very right to existence. Paul’s 
conception of religion and of religious history was extremely 
simple, if one looks at its kernel, for it was based upon one fact. 
It cannot be reduced to a brief formula without being distorted 
into a platitude. It is never vital except in the shape of a para- 
dox. In place of the particular forms of expression which Paul 
introduced, and by means of which he made the conception valid 
and secure for himself, it was possible that others might arise, 
as was the case in the very next generation with the author of 
Hebrews and with the anonymous genius who composed the 

Johannine writings. From that time onwards many other — 

teachers came forward to find fresh bases for the Pauline gospel 
(e.g., Marcion and Clement of Alexandria, to name a couple of 
very different writers from the second century). But what they 
transformed was not the fruit and kernel of Paulinism. Essenti- 
ally they were quite at one with the apostle. For it is the great 
prerogative of the historian in a later age to be able to recognise 
an essential unity where argument and proofs are widely different. 

Historically, Paul the Pharisee dethroned the people and the 

8 RE ge I hale we ww 


religion of Israel ;' he tore the gospel from its Jewish soil and 
rooted it in the soil ‘of humanity.2, No wonder that the full 
reaction of Judaism against the gospel now commenced—a re- 
action on the part of Jews and Jewish Christians alike. ‘The 

hostility of the Jews appears on every page of Acts} from chap. 
xii. onwards, and it can be traced by the aid even of the 
evangelic narratives? whose sources go back to the period 
preceding a.p. 65. ‘The Jews now sought to extirpate the 
Palestinian churches and to silence the Christian missionaries. 
They hampered every step of Paul’s work among the Gentiles ; 
they cursed Christians and Christ in their synagogues; they 
stirred up the masses and the authorities in every country 
against him ; systematically and officially they scattered broad- 
cast horrible charges against the Christians, which played an 
important part (ὑμεῖς τῆς κατὰ TOU δικαίου καὶ ἡμῶν τῶν aT’ ἐκείνου 
κακῆς προλήψψεως αἴτιοι) in the persecutions as early as the 

reign of Trajan; they started calumnies against Jesus;+ they 
φᾷ - 117 »ο. Ῥι 

1 Little wonder that Jews of a later day declared he was a pagan in disguise : 
cp. Epiph. Her., xxx. 16: καὶ τοῦ Παύλου κατηγοροῦντες οὐκ αἰσχύνονται 
ἐπιπλάστοις τισὶ τῆς τῶν ψευδαποστόλων αὐτῶν κακουργίας καὶ πλάνης λόγοις 
πεποιημένοις. Ταρσέα μὲν αὐτόν, ὡς αὐτὸς ὁμολογεῖ καὶ οὐκ ἀρνεῖται, λέγοντες ἐξ 
ἝἝλλήνων δὲ αὐτὸν ὑποτίθενται, λαβόντες τὴν προφάσιν ἐκ τοῦ τόπου διὰ τὸ 
φιλάληθες ὕπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ῥηθέν, ὅτι, Ταρσεύς εἶμι, οὐκ ἀσήμου πόλεως πολίτης. εἶτα 
φάσκουσιν αὐτὸν εἶναι Ἕλληνα καὶ “Ἑλληνίδος μητρὸς καὶ Ἕλληνος πατρὸς παῖδα, 
ἀναβεβηκέναι δὲ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα καὶ χρόνον ἐκεῖ μεμενηκέναι ἐπιτεθυμηκέναι δὲ 
θυγατέρα τοῦ ἱερέως πρὸς γάμον ἀγαγέσθαι καὶ τούτου ἕνεκα προσήλυτον γευέσθαι 
καὶ περιτμηθῆναι, εἶτα μὴ λαβόντα τὴν κόρην ὠργίσθαι καὶ κατὰ περιτομῆς 
γεγραφέναι καὶ κατὰ σαββάτου καὶ νομοθεσίας (‘‘ Nor are they ashamed to accuse 
Paul with false charges concocted by the villainy and fraud of these false apostles. 
While a native of Tarsus (as he himself frankly admits) they avow that he was 
born of Greek parentage, taking as their pretext for this assertion the passage in 
which Paul’s love of truth leads him to declare, ‘I am of Tarsus, a citizen of no 
mean city.’ Whereupon they allege that he was the son of a Greek father and a 
Greek mother ; that he went up to Jerusalem, where he resided for some time ; 
that he resolved to marry the daughter of the high priest, and consequently became 
a proselyte and got circumcised ; and that on failing to win the girl, he vented his 
anger in writing against circumcision and the sabbath and the Mosaic legislation ”). 

2 No one has stated the issues of this transplanting more sublimely than Luke 
in his narrative of the birth of Jesus (Luke ii.), especially in th πε: which he 
puts into the mouth of the angel and the angels. OC C2 Qala 4. a 

3 Cp. the speeches of Jesus when he sent out the disciples on their missions, 

18 and also the great eschatological discourse in the synoptic gospels. 

4 Justin (Déa/. xvii. ; cp. cviii., cxvii.), after making out that the Jews were 
responsible for the calumnies against the Christians, observes that the Jewish 


provided heathen opponents of Christianity with literary am- 
munition; unless the evidence is misleading, they instigated 

the Neronic outburst against the Christians; and as a rule, 

whenever bloody persecutions are afoot in later days, the Jews 
are either in the background or the foreground (the synagogues 
being dubbed by Tertullian ‘fontes persecutionum”). By a 
sort of instinct they felt that Gentile Christianity, though 
apparently it was no concern of theirs, was their peculiar foe. 
This course of action on the part of the Jews was inevitable. 
They merely accelerated a process which implied the complete 

authorities in Jerusalem despatched ἄνδρας ἐκλεκτοὺς ἀπὸ ᾿Ιερουσαλὴμ els πᾶσαν 

n “~ / cal ® 
Thy γῆν, λέγοντας ἅιρεσιν ἄθεον Χριστιανῶν πεφηνέναι, καταλέγοντας ταῦτα, ἅπερ 

καθ᾽ ἡμῶν οἱ ἀγνοοῦντες ἡμᾶς πάντες λέγουσιν, ὥστε οὐ μόνον ἑαντοῖς ἀδικίας αἴτιοι 
ὑπάρχετε, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἅπασιν ἁπλῶς ἀνθρώποις (‘‘Chosen men from 
Jerusalem into every land, declaring that a god/ess sect of Christians had appeared, 
and uttering everything that those who are ignorant of us say unanimously against 
us. So that you are the cause not only of your own unrighteousness, but also of 
that of all other men”). Cp. cxvil.: τοῦ υἱοῦ rod θεοῦ ὄνομα βεβηλωθῆναι κατὰ 
πᾶσαν τῆν γὴν καὶ βλασφημεῖσθαι of ἀρχιερεῖς τοῦ λαοῦ ὑμῶν καὶ διδάσκαλοι 
εἰργάσαντο (‘‘ The name of the Son of God have the chief priests of your nation 
and your teachers caused to be profaned throughout all the earth and to be 
blasphemed”). Also cvili. : ἄνδρας χειροντονήσαντες ἐκλεκτοὺς els πᾶσαν τὴν 
οἰκουμένην ἐπέμψατε, κηρύσσοντας ὅτι ἅιρεσις τις ἄθεος καὶ ἄνομος ἐγήγερται ἀπὸ 
Ἰησοῦ τινος Ταλιλαίου πλάνου, ὃν σταυρωσάντων ἡμῶν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ 
μνήματος νυκτὸς . ... πλανῶσι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους λέγοντες ἐγηγέρθαι αὐτὸν ἐκ 
νεκρῶν καὶ εἰς οὐρανὸν ἀνεληλυθέναι, κατειπόντες δεδιδαχέναι καὶ ταῦτα ἅπερ κατὰ 
τῶν ὁμολογούντων Χριστὸν καὶ διδάσκαλον καὶ υἱὸν θεοῦ εἶναι παντὶ γένει ἀνθρώπων 
ἄθεα καὶ ἄνομα καὶ ἀνόσια λέγετε (‘‘ You have sent chosen and apfoznted men into all 
the world to proclaim that ‘a godless and lawless sect has arisen from a certain Jesus, 
a Galilean impostor, whom we crucified ; his disciples, however, stole him by 
night from the tomb... . and now deceive people by asserting that he rose 
from the dead and ascended into heaven.’ You accuse him of having taught the 
godless, lawless, and unholy doctrines which you bring forward against those who 
acknowledge. him to be Christ, a teacher from God, and the Son of God”), For 
the cursing of Christians in the synagogues, cp. Dza/, xvi. (also the Words οὐκ 
ἐξουσίας ἔχετε αὐτόχειρες γενέσθαι ἡμῶν διὰ τοὺς νῦν ἐπικρατοῦντας, ὁσάκις δὲ ἂν 
ἐδύνητε, καὶ τοῦτο émpdtate = ‘‘ You have no power of yourselves to lay hands on 
us, thanks to your overlords [z.¢., the Romans], but you have done so whenever 
you could”), xlvii., xciii., xcv.—xcvi,, Cviii., cxvil,, cxxxvii,, where Justin declares 
that the rulers of the synagogue arranged for the cursing of Christians μετὰ τὴν 
προσευχὴν (after prayers) during the course of public worship (the pagan proselytes 
of Judaism being even more hostile to Christians than the Jews themselves, cxxii.) ; 
Jerome on Isa, lii, 2; Epiph., Her, xxix. 9; Afol., I. x., xxxi. (Jewish 
Christians fearfully persecuted. by Jews during the Barcochba war); Tert., 
ad Nat., 1. xiv.: et credidit vulgus Judaeo ; quod enim aliud genus seminarium 
est infamiae nostrae? (‘‘The crowd believed the Jew. In what other set of 



people lies the seedplot of calumny against us?”); adv. Marc,, iii. 23; adv, | 

— att 


liberation of the new religion from the old, and which prevented 
Judaism from solving the problem which she had already faced, 
the problem of her metamorphosis into a religion for the world. 
In this sense there was something satisfactory about the Jewish 
opposition. It helped both religions to make the mutual breach 
complete, whilst it also deepened in the minds of Gentile 
Christians—at a time when. this still needed to be deepened— 
the assurance that their religion did represent a new creation, 
and that they were no mere class of people admitted into some 
lower rank, but were themselves the new People of God, who 

had succeeded to the old. 

Jud., xiii. ; ab illis enim incepit infamia (‘‘ They started the calumny”); Scorf. x.: 
Synagogae Judaeorum fontes persecutionum ; /rez, IV. xxi, 3: ecclesia insidias 
et persecutiones a Judaeis patitur ; IV. xxviii. 3: Judaeiinterfectoresdomini... . 
apostolos interficientes et persequentes ecclesiam. Origen repeatedly testifies to 
the fact that the Jews were the originators of the calumnies against Christians ; 
cp. passages like Hom, I. on Ps, xxxvi. (t. 12, p. 54, ed. Lomm.): etiam nunc 
Judaei non moventur adversus gentiles, adversus eos, qui idola colunt et deum 
blasphemant, et illos non oderunt nec indignantur adversus eos ; adversus Christiano 
vero insatiabili odio feruntur (‘‘ The Jews even now are not angry at the heathen 
who worship idols and blaspheme God ; they do not hate them, but they attack 
Christians with insatiable hatred”; cp. also p. 155). By far the most important 
notice is that preserved by Eusebius (on Isa, xviii. 1 f.), although its source is 
unfortunately unknown—at any rate it did not come from Justin, It runs as 
follows: εὕρομεν ἐν τοῖς τῶν παλαιῶν συγγράμμασιν, ὡς of τῆν Ἱερουσαλὴμ 
οἰκοῦντες τοῦ τῶν Ιουδαίων ἔθνους ἱερεῖς καὶ πρεσβύτεροι γράμματα διαχαράξαντες 
εἰς πάντα διεπέμψαντο τὰ ἔθνη τοῖς ἁπανταχοῦ Ἰουδαίοις διαβάλλοντες τὴν Χριστοῦ 
διδασκαλίαν ὡς αἵρεσιν καινὴν καὶ ἀλλοτρίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, παρήγγελλόν τε δι᾽ ἐπιστολῶν 
μὴ παραδέξασθαι αὐτήν . . .. of τε ἀπόστολοι αὐτῶν ἐπιστολὰς βιβλίνας 
κομιζόμενοι. .. . ἀπανταχοῦ γῆς διέτρεχον, τὸν περὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἐνδια- 
βάλλοντες λόγον. ἀποστόλους δὲ εἰσέτι καὶ νῦν ἔθος ἐστὶν ᾿Ιουδαίοις ὀνομάζειν τοὺς 
ἐγκύκλια γράμματα παρὰ τῶν ἀρχόντων αὐτῶν ἐπικομιζομένονς (‘‘ In the writings 
of the ancients we find that the priests and elders of the Jewish people resident at 
Jerusalem drew up and despatched written instructions for the Jews throughout 
every country, slandering the doctrine of Christ as a newfangled heresy which was 
alien to God, and charging them by means of letters not toaccept it. . . . . Their 
apostles also, conveying formal letters . . . . swarmed everywhere on earth, 
calumniating the gospel of our Saviour. And even at the present day it is still 
the custom of the Jews to give the name of ‘apostle’ to those who convey 
encyclical epistles from their rulers”), According to this passage Paul would be 
an ‘‘apostle” before he became an apostle, and the question might be raised 
whether the former capacity did not contribute in some way to the feeling he 
had, on becoming a Christian, that he was thereby called immediately to be an 
apostle of Christ. 

1 In this connection one must also note the Christian use of ἔθνη (‘‘gentes,” 
Gentiles”). In the Old Testament the ἔθνη are opposed to the people of Israel 



But the Jewish Christians also entered the arena. They 
issued from Jerusalem a demand that the church at Antioch 
should be circumcised, and the result of this demand was the 
so-called apostolic council. We possess two accounts of this 
(Gal. -ii. and Acts xv.). Each leaves much to be desired, and 
it is hardly possible to harmonize them both. Paul’s account 
is not so much written down as flung down pell-mell; such is 
the vigour with which it seeks to emphasize the final result, that\ 
its abrupt sentences render the various intermediate stages either 
invisible or indistinct. The other account, unless we are 
deceived, has thrown the ultimate issue of the council into utter 
confusion by the irrelevant introduction of what transpired at a 
later period. Even for other reasons, this account excites 
suspicion. Still we can see plainly that Peter, John, and James 
recognized the work of Paul, that they gave him no injunctions 
as to his missionary labours, and that they chose still to confine 
themselves to the Jewish mission. Paul did not at once succeed 

in uniting Jewish and Gentile Christians in a single fellowship — 

of life and worship ; it was merely the principle of this fellow- 
ship that gained the day, and even this principle—an agreement 
which in itself was naturally unstable and shortlived—could be 
ignored by wide circles of Jewish Christians. Nevertheless 
mtich ground had been won. The stipulation itself ensured 
that, as did even more the developments to which it led. The 

(which was also reckoned, as was natural under the circumstances, among the 
‘‘peoples”), so that it was quite easy for a Jew to describe other religions by 
simply saying that they were religions of the ἔθνη. Consequently vn had 
acquired among the Jews, long before the Christian era, a sense which roughly 
coincided with that of our word ‘‘ pagans” or ‘‘heathen.” Paul was therefore 
unable to allow any Christian of non-Jewish extraction to be still ranked among 
the ἔθνη, nor would it seem that Paul was alone in this contention. Such a 
convert once belonged to the ἔθνη, but not now (cp., ¢g., 1 Cor. xii. 2: οἴδατε 
ὅτι ὅτε ἔθνη ἦτε πρός τὰ εἴδωλα. .. . ἤγεσθε, “ye know that when ye were 
Gentiles, ye were led away to idols”); now he belongs to the zrwe Israel, or to 
the new People. It is plain that while this did not originally imply an actual 
change of nationality, it must have stimulated the cosmopolitan feeling among 
Christians, as well as the consciousness that even politically they occupied a 
distinctive position, when they were thus contrasted with all the ἔθνη on the one 
hand, and on the other were thought of as the new People of the world, who 
repudiated all connection with the Jews. We need hardly add that Christians 
were still described as members of the ἔθνη, in cases where the relationship caused 
no misunderstanding, and where it was purely a question of non-Jewish descent. 

κῶν «ὦ 




Jewish Christians split up. How they could still continue to 
hold together (in Jerusalem and elsewhere) for years to come, 
is an insoluble riddle. One section persisted in doing everything | 
they could to persecute Paul and his work with ardent enmity : 
to crush him was their aim. In this they certainly were actuated 
by some honest convictions, which Paul was naturally incapable 
of understanding. ‘To the very last, indeed, he made concessions 
to these ““ zealots for the law ” within the boundaries of Palestine ; 
but outside Palestine he repudiated them so soon as they tried ; 
to win over Gentiles to their own form of Christianity.” The 
other section, including Peter and probably the rest “of the 
primitive apostles, commenced before long to advance beyond 
the agreement, though in a somewhat hesitating and tentative 
fashion: outside Palestine they began to hold intercourse with 
the Gentile Christians, and to lead the Jewish Christians also 
in this direction. ‘These tentative endeavours culminated in a 
new agreement, which now made a real fellowship possible for 
both parties. The condition was that the Gentile Christians 
were to abstain from flesh offered to idols, from tasting blood 
and things strangled, and from fornication. Henceforth Peter, 
probably with one or two others of the primitive apostles, took 
part in the Gentile mission. The last barrier had collapsed.! 
If we marvel at the greatness of Paul, we should not marvel less 
at the primitive apostles, who for the gospel’s sake entered on a 
career which the Lord and Master, with whom ΣῈ had eaten 
and drunk, had never taught them. 

By adopting an intercourse with οἰ δεῖν Christians, this 
Jewish Christianity did away with itself, and in the second. 
period of his labours Peter.ceased to be a ‘ Jewish Christian.” ? 

1 We may conjecture that originally there were also Jewish Christian com- 
munities in the Diaspora (not simply a Jewish Christian set inside Gentile Christian 
communities), and that they were not confined even to the provinces bordering on 
Palestine. But in Asia Minor, or wherever else such Jewish Christian communities 
existed, they must have been absorbed at a relatively early period by the Gentile 
Christian or Pauline communities. The communities of Smyrna and Philadelphia 
about 93 A.D. (cp. Rev. ii.—iii.) seem to have been composed mainly of converted 
Jews, but they are leagued with an association of the other communities, just as if 
they were Gentile Christians. 

2 Cp. Pseudo-Clem., Hom., XI. xvi.: ἔὰν 6 ἀλλόφυλος τὸν νόμος πράξῃ, 
‘lovdaids ἐστιν, μὴ πράξας δὲ Ἰουδαῖος “Ἕλλην (“1 one of other nation observe 

οὐδ δ 



ν-. sf © 4 


He became a Greek. Still, two Jewish Christian parties con- 
tinued to exist. One of these held by the agreement of the 

apostolic council ; it gave the Gentile Christians-its—blessing, 
but held aloof from them in actual life. The other persisted in 
fighting the Gentile Church as a false church. Neither party 
counts in the subsequent history of the church, owing to their 
numerical weakness. According to Justin (Apol., I. liii.), who) 
must have known the facts, Jesus was rejected by the Jewish 
nation “with few exceptions” (πλὴν ὀλίγων τινῶν). In the 
Diaspora, apart from Syria and Egypt, Jewish Christians were 
hardly to be met with ;' there the Gentile Christians felt them- 

the law, he is a Jew: the Jew who does not observe it is a Greek”), His 
labours in the mission-field must have brought him to the side of Paul (cp. Clem. 
Rom., v.), else his repute in the Gentile Christian church would be inexplicable; 
but we have no detailed information on this point. Incidentally we hear of him 
being at Antioch (Gal. ii.), It is also likely, to judge from First Corinthians, that 
on his travels he reached Corinth shortly after the local church had been founded, 
but it is bya mere chance that we learn this. After Acts xii. Luke loses all 

interest in Peter’s missionary efforts; why, we cannot quite make out. But if he - 

laboured among Jewish Christians in a broad spirit, and yet did not emancipate 
them outright from the customs of Judaism, we can understand how the Gentile 

Christian tradition took no particular interest in his movements. Still, there must 

have been one epoch in his life when he consented heart and soul to the principles 
of Gentile Christianity ; and it may be conjectured that this took place as early as 
the time of his residence at Corinth, not at the subsequent period of his sojourn in 
Rome. (He stayed for some months at Rome, before he was crucified. This we 
learn from an ancient piece of evidence which has been strangely overlooked. 
Porphyry, in Macarius Magnes (iii. 22), writes: ‘* Peter is narrated to have been 
crucified, after pasturing the lambs for several months” (ἱστορεῖται μήδ᾽ ὀλίγους 
μῆνας βοσκήσας τὰ προβάτια 6 Πέτρος ἐσταυρῶσθαι). This passage must refer to 
his residence at Rome, and its testimony is all the more weighty, as Porphyry 
himself lived for a long while in Rome and had close dealings with the local 
Christianity. If the pagan cited in Macarius was not Porphyry himself, then he 
has reproduced him.) At the same time it must be understood that we are not in 
a position to explain how Peter came to be ranked first of all alongside of Paul 
(as in Clement and Ignatius) and thenabove him. The fact that our First Peter in 
the New Testament was attributed to him involves difficulties which are scarcely 
fewer than those occasioned by the hypothesis that he actually wrote the epistle. 

1 Individual efforts of propaganda were not, however, awanting, Such include 
the origins of the pseudo-Clementine literature, Symmachus and his literary efforts 
towards the close of the second century, and also that Elkesaite Alcibiades of 
Apamea in Syria, who went to Rome and is mentioned by Hippolytus in the 
Philosophumena. The syncretism of gnostic Jewish Christianity, to which all these 
phenomena belong, entitled it to expect a better hearing in the pagan world than 

the stricter form of the Christian faith. But it would lead us too far afield from ~- 

our present purpose to go into details. 


selves supreme, in fact they were almost masters of the field. 
This didnot last, however, beyond 180 a.p., when ἰ the Catholic 
ehurch put Jewish Christians upon her roll of heretics. They 
were thus paid back in their own coin by Gentile Christianity ; 
the heretics-turned their former_judges into heretics. 

Before long the relations of Jewish Christians to their kins- 
men the Jews also took a turn for the worse—that is, so far as 
actual relations existed between them at all. It was the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem and the temple which seems to have provoked 
the final crisis, and led to a complete breach between the two 
parties.2 No Christian, even supposing he were a simple Jewish 
Christian, could view the catastrophe which befell the Jewish 
state, with its capital and sanctuary, as anything else than the 
just punishment of the nation for having crucified the Messiah. 
Strictly speaking, he ceased from that moment to be a Jew; for 
a Jew who accepted the downfall of his state and temple as a 
divine dispensation, thereby committed national suicide. Un- 
doubtedly the catastrophe decimated the exclusive Jewish 
Christianity of Palestine and drove a considerable number either 
back into Judaism or forward into the Catholic church. Yet 
how illogical human feelings can be, when they are linked to a 
powerful tradition! ‘There were Jewish Christians still, who 
remained after the fall of Jerusalem just where they had stood 
before; evidently they bewailed the fall of the temple, and yet 
they saw in its fall a merited punishment. Did they, we ask, 
or did they not, venture to desire the rebuilding of the temple ? 
We can easily understand how such people proved a double 
offence to their fellow-countrymen, the genuine Jews. Indeed 
they were always falling between two fires, for the Jews perse- 
cuted them with bitter hatred,’ while the Gentile church 

1 The turn of affairs is seen in Justin’s Dza/, xlvii, Gentile Christians for a long 
while ceased to lay down any fresh conditions, but they deliberated whether ¢hey 
could recognize Jewish Christians as Christian brethren, and if so, to what extent. 
They acted in this matter with considerable rigour. 

2 We do not know when Jewish Christians broke off, or were forced to break 
off, from all connection with the synagogues ; we can only conjecture that if such 
connections lasted till about 70 A.D., they ceased then. 

Ὁ Epiphanius (xxix. 9): οὐ μόνον of τῶν Ἰουδαίων παῖδες πρὸς τούτους κέκτηνται 
μῖσος, ἀλλὰ ἀνιστάμενοι ἕωθεν καὶ μέσης ἡμέρας καὶ περὶ τὴν ἑσπέραν, τρίς τῆς 
ἡμέρας, ὅτε εὐχὰς ἐπιτελοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς αὐτῶν συναγωγαῖς ἐπαρῶνται αὐτοῖς καὶ 



censured them as heretics—?.e., as non-Christians. ‘They are 
dubbed indifferently by Jerome, who knew them personally,! 
“¢semi-Judaei” and ‘ semi-Christiani.”. And Jerome was right. 
They were really “semis” ; they were “ half” this or that, although 
they followed the course of life which Jesus had himself observed. 
Crushed by the letter of Jesus, they died a lingering death. — \ 

There is hardly any fact which deserves to be turned over 
and thought over so much as this, that the religion of Jesus 
has never been able to root itself in Jewish or even Semitic 
soil.2 Certainly there must have been, and certainly there must 
be still, some element in this religion which is allied to the 
greater freedom of the Greek spirit. In one sense Christianity 
has really remained Greek down to the present day. The forms 
it acquired on Greek soil have been modified, but they have 
never been laid aside within the church at large, not even within 
Protestantism itself. And what an ordeal this religion under- 
went in the tender days of its childhood! ‘Get thee out of thy 

country and from thy kindred unto a land that I will show thee, 

and I will make of thee a great nation.” Islam rose in Arabia and 
has remained upon the whole an Arabic religion; the strength 
of its youth was also the strength of its manhood. Christianity, 
almost immediately after it arose, was dislodged from the nation 
to which it belonged ; and thus from the very outset it was forced 
to learn how to distinguish between the kernel and the husk.* 
Paul is only responsible in part for the sharp anti-Judaism 

ἀναθεματίζουσι φάσκοντες ὅτι᾽ ᾿Επικαταράσαι ὃ θεὸς τοὺς Ναζωραίους. καὶ γὰρ 
τούτοις περισσότερον ἐνέχουσι, διὰ τὸ ἀπὸ ᾿Ιουδαίων αὐτοὺς ὄντας Ἰησοῦν κηρύσσειν 
εἶναι Χριστόν, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἐναντίον πρὸς τοὺς ἔτι ᾿Ιουδαίους τοὺς Χριστὸν μὴ 
δεξαμένους (‘Not merely are they visited with hatred at the hands of Jewish 
children, but rising at dawn, at noon, and eventide, when they perform their 
orisons in their synagogues, the Jews curse them and anathematize them, crying 
‘God curse the Nazarenes!’ For, indeed, they are assailed all the more bitterly 
because, being themselves of Jewish origin, they proclaim Jesus to be the Messiah 
—in opposition to the other Jews who reject Christ ”’). 

1 Epiphanius (/oc, cz¢.) says of them: Ἰουδαῖοι μᾶλλον καὶ οὐδὲν ἕτερον ᾿ πάνυ 
δὲ οὗτοι ἐχθροὶ τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαῖοις ὑπάρχουσιν (‘‘ They are Jews more than anything 
else, and yet they are detested by the Jews”). 

2 The Syrians are a certain exception to this rule; yet how markedly was the 
Syrian church Grecized, even although it retained its native language ! 

3 The gospel allied itself, in a specially intimate way, to Hellenism, but not 
exclusively, during the period of which we are speaking; on the contrary, the 
greatest stress was laid still, as by Paul of old, upon the fact that a/7 peoples were 


which developed within the very earliest phases of Gentile 

Christianity. Though he held that the day of the Jews (πᾶσιν 

ἀνθρώποις ἐναντίων, 1 Thess. ii. 15) was past and gone, yet he 
neither could nor would believe in a final repudiation of God’s 

people; on that point his last word is said in Rom. xi. 25, 29 :— 
ov OeAw ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν TO μυστήριον τοῦτο, ὅτι πώρωσις ἀπὸ μέρους 
᾿ς τῷ Ἰσραὴλ γέγονεν ἄχρις οὗ τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν εἰσέλθῃ, καὶ 
οὕτως πᾶς ᾿Ισραὴλ σωθήσεται. . ἀμεταμέλητα γὰρ τὰ xapic- 
ματα καὶ ἡ κλῆσις τοῦ θεοῦ. In this sense Paul remained a 
Jewish Christian to the end. The duality of mankind (Jews 
and “nations”) remained, in a way, intact, despite the one 
church of God which embraced them both. This church did 
not abrogate the special promises made to the Jews, 

But this standpoint remained a Pauline idiosyncrasy. When 
people had recourse, as the large majority of Christians had, 
simply to the allegorical method in order to emancipate them- 
selves from the letter, and even from the contents, of Old 'Testa- 
ment religion, the Pauline view had no attraction for them ; 
in fact it was quite inadmissible, since the legitimacy of the 
allegorical conception, and inferentially the " Tegitimacy of the 
Gentile church in general, was called in question, if the Pauline 

view held good at any single point.! If the people of Israel re- 


tained a single privilege, if a single special promise still had any 


meaning whatsoever, if even one letter had still to remain in | 

force—how could the whole of the Old Testament be spiritual- \ 

ized? How could it all be transferred to another people? The 
result of this mental attitude was the conviction that the Jewish 

called, and the gospel accepted by members of αὐ nations. Certainly the Greeks 
ranked as primi inter pares, and the esteem in which they were held was bound 
to increase just as tradition came to be emphasized, since it was neither possible 
nor permissible as yet to trace back the latter to the Jews (from the middle of the 
second century onwards, the appeal of tradition to the church of Jerusalem was not 
to a Jewish, but to a Greek church). In this sense, even the Latins felt themselves 
secondary as compared with the Greeks, but it was not long before the Roman 
church understood how to make up for this disadvantage. In the Easter contro- 
versy, about the year 190 A.D., certain rivalries between the Greeks and Latins 
_ emerged for the first time; but such differences were provincial, not national, for 
_ the Roman church at that period was still predominantly Greek. 

af 1 As the post-apostolic literature shows, there were wide circles in which Paul’s 
doctrine of the law and the old covenant was never understood, and consequently 
was never accepted. { 

vol. I. 5 


people was now rejected: it was Ishmael, not Isaac; Esau, not — 
Jacob. Yet even this verdict did not go far enough. If the — 
spiritual meaning of the Old 'Testament is the correct one, and | 
the literal false, then (it was argued) the former was correct from 

the very first, since what was false yesterday cannot be true t 
day. Now the Jewish people from the first persisted in adhering 
to the literal interpretation, practising circumcision, offering 
bloody sacrifices, and observing the regulations concerning food ; 
consequently they were always in error, an error which shows 
that they never were the chosen people. The chosen people 
» throughout was the Christian people, which always existed in 
\~a sort of latent condition (the younger brother being really the 
elder), though it only came to light at first with Christ. From 
the outset the Jewish people had lost the promise; indeed it 
was a question whether it had ever been meant for them at all. 
In any case the literal interpretation of God’s revealed will 
proved that the people had been forsaken by God and had 
fallen under the sway of the devil, As this was quite clear, the 
final step had now to be taken, the final sentence had now to be 
ogi, τὸς the Old Testament, from cover to cover, has nothing 
whatever to do with the Jews. Illegally and insolently the Jews 
had seized upon it; they had confiscated it, and tried to claim 
it as their own property. They had falsified it by their exposi- 
»’ tions and even by corrections and omissions. Every Christian 
must therefore deny them the possession of the Old Testament. 
_ It would be a sin for Christians to say, ‘This book belongs to 
\\us and to the Jews.” No; the book belonged from the outset, ὦ 
“gl as it belongs now and evermore, to none but Christians,' whilst — | 
: Jews are the worst, the most godless and God-forsaken, of all 
nations upon earth,? the devil’s own people, Satan’s syna- 
1 Tt was an inconvenient fact that the book had not been taken from the Jews, 
who still kept and used it; but pseudo-Justin (Cohort. xiii.) gets over this by 
explaining that the Jews’ retention of the Old Testament was providential. They 
preserved the Old Testament, so that it might afford a refutation of the pagan 
opponents who objected to Christianity on account of its forgeries (7.¢., the pro- 
phecies). In his Dialogue, Justin, however, charges the Jews with falsifying the 

Old Testament in an anti-Christian sense. His proofs are quite flimsy. 

2 Justin, for example, looks on the Jews not more but less favourably than on 

the heathen (cp. Afol., I. xxxvii., xxxix., xlili.—xliv., xlvii., liii., Ix.), The more 
friendly attitude of Aristides (AZo/, xiv.) is exceptional, 

ee κα 0 μὰ 

= =e 



gogue, a fellowship of hypocrites.|_ They are stamped by their 
crucifixion of the Lord.2 God has now brought them to an 
open ruin, before the eyes of all the world; their temple is 
burnt, their city destroyed, their commonwealth shattered, 
their people scattered—never again is Jerusalem to be fre- 
quented.? It may be questioned, therefore, whether God still 
desires this people to be converted at all, and whether he who 
essays to win a single Jew is not thereby interfering unlaw- 
fully with his punishment. But the fact is, this people will 
not move; so that by their obstinacy and hostility to Christ, 
they relieve Christians from having to answer such a question. 
This was the attitude consistently adopted by the Gentile 
church towards Judaism. Their instinct of self-preservation 
and their method of justifying their own appropriation of the 
Old Testament, chimed in with the ancient antipathy felt by 
the Greeks and Romans to the Jews. Still, it was not every- 

one who ventured to draw the final conclusions of the epistle of «, 

Barnabas (iv. 6. f., xiv. 1 f.). Most people admitted vaguely 
that in earlier days a special relation existed between God and 

his people, though at the same time all the Old Testament : 

promises were referred even by them to Christian people. While 
Barnabas held the literal observance of the law to prove a seduc- 
tion of the devil to which the Jewish people had succumbed,° 

1 Cp. Rev, ii. 9, iii. 9, Did. viii., and the treatment of the Jews in the Fourth 
Gospel and the Gospel of Peter. Barnabas (ix. 4) declares that a wicked angel 
had seduced them from the very first. In 2 Clem. ii. 3, the Jews are called οἱ 
δοκοῦντες ἔχειν θεόν (‘‘ they that seem to have God”); similarly in the Preaching 
of Peter (Clem., Stvom., vi. 5. 41): ἐκεῖνοι μόνοι οἰόμενοι τὸν θεὸν γιγνώσκειν οὐκ 
ἐπίστανται (‘* They suppose they alone know God, but they do not understand 

2 Pilate was more and more exonerated, 

3 Cp, Tertull., Ago/. xxi.: dispersi, palabundi et soli et caeli sui extorres 
vagantur per orbem sine homine, sine deo rege, quibus nec advenarum iure terram 
patriam saltim vestigio salutare conceditur (‘‘ Scattered, wanderers, exiles from 
their own land ‘and clime, they roam through the world without a human or a 
divine king, without so much as a stranger’s right to set foot even in their native 


4 For what follows see my Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, 1.), pp. 168 f. 
[Eng. trans., i. 291 f.]. 

5 Cp. Barn. ix. f. The attitude of Barnabas to the Old Testament is radically 
misunderstood if one imagines that his expositions in vi.-x. can be passed over as 
the result of oddity and caprice, or set aside as destitute of any moment or 


Ω he 
yt ») the majority regarded circumcision as a sign appointed by God;! 

they recognized that the literal observance of the law was de- 
signed and enjoined by God for the time being, although they 
held that no righteousness ever emanated from it. Still even 
they held that the spiritual sense was the one true meaning 
which by a fault of their own the Jews had misunderstood ; they 
considered that the burden of the ceremonial law was an edu- 
cational necessity, to meet the stubbornness and idolatrous ten- 
dencies of the nation (being, in fact, a safeguard of mono- 
theism) ; and, finally, they interpreted the sign of circumcision 
in such a way that it appeared no longer as a favour, but 
rather as a mark of the judgment to be executed on Israel.” 
Israel thus became literally a church which had been at all 
times the inferior or the Satanic church. Even in point of time 
the “older” people really did not precede the “ younger,” for 
the latter was more ancient, and the “ new ” law was the original 
law. Nor had the patriarchs, prophets, and men of God, who 
had been counted worthy to receive God’s word, anything in 
common inwardly with the Jewish people; they were God’s 

method. Nota sentence in this section lacks method, and consequently there is 
no caprice at all. The strictly spiritual conception of God in Barnabas, and the 

| conviction that all (Jewish) ceremonies are of the devil, made his expositions 

of Scripture a matter of course ; so far from being mere ingenious fancies to this 
author’s mind, they were essential to him, unless the Old Testament was to be 
utterly abandoned. For example, the whole authority of the Old Testament 
would have collapsed for Barnabas, unless he had succeeded in finding some fresh 
interpretation of the statement that Abraham circumcised his servants. This he 
manages to do by combining it with another passage from Genesis ; he then dis- 

covers in the narrative, not circumcision at all, but a prophecy of the crucified a 

Christ (ix.). 

1 Barn. ix. 6: ἀλλ᾽ épeis* καὶ μὴν περιτέτμηται ὃ λαὸς εἰς σφραγῖδα (‘* But 
thou wilt say, this people hath been certainly circumcised for a seal”), This 
remark is put into the mouth of an ordinary Gentile Christian ; the author himself 
does not agree with it. 

2 Cp. Justin’s Dzal. xvi., xviii., xx., xxx., xl.-xlvi. He lays down these three 
findings side by side: (1) that the ceremonial laws were an educational measure 
on the part of God to counteract the stubbornness of the people, who were prone 
to apostatize ; (2) that, as in the case of circumcision, they were meant to differ- 
entiate the people in view of the future judgment which was to be executed 
according to divine appointment ; and (3) finally, that the Jewish worship enacted 
by the ceremonial law exhibited the peculiar depravity and iniquity of the people. 
Justin, however, viewed the decalogue as the natural law of reason, and therefore 
as definitely distinct from the ceremonial law. 

at 4 Cas Ae See 

~~». oo Seen 


elect who distinguished themselves by a holy conduct corre- 
sponding to their election, and they must be regarded as the 
fathers and forerunners of the latent Christian people.1_ No 
satisfactory answer is given by any of these early Christian 
writings to the question, How is it that, if these men must not 
on any account be regarded as Jews, they nevertheless appeared 
entirely or almost entirely within the Jewish nation? Possibly 
the idea was that God in his mercy meant to bring this 
wickedest of the nations to the knowledge of the truth by em- 
ploying the most effective agencies at his command; but even 
this suggestion comes to nothing. 

Such an injustice as that done by the Gentile church to 

Judaism is almost unprecedented in the annals of history. The | 


Gentile church stripped it of everything; she took away its 

sacred book ; herself but a transformation of Judaism, she cut 
off all connection with the parent religion. The daughter first 
robbed her mother, and then repudiated her! But, one may 
ask, is this view really correct? Undoubtedly it is, to some 
extent, and it is perhaps impossible to force anyone to give it 
up. But viewed from a higher standpoint, the facts acquire a 
different complexion. By their rejection of Jesus, the Jewish 
people disowned their calling and dealt the death-blow to their 

own existence ; their place was taken by Christians as the new 

People, who appropriated the whole tradition of Judaism, giving 

: Be ee ee en te ne apostolic writers. Christians are the 
true Israel; hence theirs are all the honourable titles of the people of Israel. 
They are the twelve tribes (cp. Jas. i. 1), and thus Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are 
the fathers of Christians (a conception on which no doubt whatever existed in the 
Gentile church, and which is not to be traced back simply to Paul); the men of 
God in the Old Testament were Christians (cp. Ignat., ad Magn., vili. 2, οἱ 
προφῆται κατὰ Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἔζησαν, ‘‘the prophets lived according to Christ 
Jesus ”). But it is to be noted that a considerable section of Christians, viz., the 

it maj gnostics and _the Marcionites, repudiated the Old Testa- 

ment along with heikten (a repudiation to which the epistle of Barnabas approxi- 

mates very closely, but which it avoids by means of its resolute re-interpretation of 
the literal sense). These people appear to be the consistent party, yet they were 
really nothing of the kind; to cut off the Old Testament meant that another 
historical basis must be sought afresh for Christianity, and such a basis could not 
be found except in some other religion or in another system of worship. Marcion 
made the significant attempt to abandon the Old Testament and work exclusively 

with the doctrine and mythology of Paulinism ; but the attempt was isolated, and 

it proved a failure. 



a fresh interpretation to any unserviceable materials in it, or 
else allowing them to drop. As a matter of fact, the settlement 
was not even sudden or unexpected; what was unexpected was 
simply the particular form which the settlement assumed. A 
that Gentile Christianity did was to complete a process whic 
teases in fact commenced long ago within Judaism itself, viz., the 
| process by which the Jewish religion was being inwardly emanci- 
|pated and transformed into a religion for the world. . 
About 140 a.p. the transition of Christianity to the 

ft Gentiles,” with its emancipation from Judaism, was complete." 

It was only learned opponents among the Greeks and the Jews 
themselves, who still reminded Christians that, strictly speaking, 
they must be Jews. After the fall of Jerusalem there was no 
longer any Jewish counter-mission, apart from a few local efforts ;” 
on the contrary, Christians established themselves in the strong- 
holds hitherto held by Jewish propaganda and Jewish proselytes. — 
Japhet occupied the tents of Shem,’ and Shem had to retire. 
One thing, however, remained an enigma. Why had Jesus 
appeared among the Jews, instead of among the “nations” ?* 

1 Forty years later Irenzeus was therefore in a position to treat the Old 
Testament and its real religion with much greater freedom, for by that time 
Christians had almost ceased to feel that their possession of the Old Testament 
was seriously disturbed by Judaism. Thus Irenzeus was able even to repeat the 
admission that the literal observance of the Old Testament in earlier days was 
right and holy. The Fathers of the ancient Catholic church, who followed him, 
went still further: on one side they approximated again to Paulinism ; but at the 
same time, on every possible point, they moved still further away from the 
apostle than the earlier generations had done, since they understood his anti- 
legalism even less, and had also to defend the Old Testament against the gnostics. 
Their candid recognition of a literal sense in the Old Testament was due to the 
secure consciousness of their own position over against Judaism, but it was the 
result even more of their growing passion for the laws and institutions of the Old 
Testament cultus. 

2 Attempts of the Jews to seduce Christians into apostasy are mentioned in 
literature, but not very often ; cp. Serapion’s account quoted by Eusebius (4. Z. 
vi. 12), and Acta Pionii (xiii., with a Jewish criticism of Christ as a suicide and a 

3 The half-finished, hybrid products of Jewish propaganda throughout the 
empire were transmuted into independent and attractive forms of religion, far 
surpassing the synagogues. It was only natural that the former had at once to © 
enter into the keenest conflict with the latter. 

4 That Jesus himself converted many people ἐν τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ is asserted only 
by a comparatively late and unauthentic remark in Josephus. 

ne ““ῃ 


This was a vexing problem. The Fourth Gospel (see above, 
Ρ. 42), it is important to observe, describes certain Greeks as 

longing to see Jesus (xii. 20 f.), and the words put into the 

mouth of Jesus on that occasion! are intended to explain why 
the Saviour did not undertake the Gentile mission. The same 
evangelist makes Jesus say with the utmost explicitness (x. 16), 
* And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also 
I must bring, and they shall hear my voice.” He himself is to 
bring them. ‘The mission which his disciples carry out, is thus 
his mission ; it is just as if he drew them himself.? Indeed his 
own power is still to work in them, as he is to send them the 
Holy Spirit to lead them into all the truth, communicating to 
them a wisdom which had hitherto lain unrevealed. 

One consequence of this attitude of mind was that the twelve 
were regarded as a sort of personal multiplication of Christ 
himself, while the Kerugma (or outline and essence of Christian 
preaching) came to include the despatch of the twelve into all 
the world—.e., to include the Gentile mission as a command of 

1 ««The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Verily, verily, I say 
to you, unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it abides by itself 
alone ; but if it die it bears much fruit. .... A voice then came from heaven, 
‘I have glorified, and I will glorify it again.’ . . . . Jesus said, ‘This voice has 
come, not for my sake but for yours; now is the judgment of this world, now 
shall the prince of this world be cast out. Yet when 7 am lifted up from the earth, 
7 will draw all men to myself.” 

2 Naturally, there was not entire and universal satisfaction with this explanation. 
Even legend did not venture in those early days to change the /oca/e of Jesus to 
the midst of paganism, but already Magi from the East were made to come to the 
child Jesus and worship him, after a star had announced his birth to all the world 
(Matt. ii.); angels at the birth of Jesus announced tidings of great joy to ‘‘all 
peoples” (Luke ii.) ; and when that star appeared, says Ignatius (ad Zph., xix.), 
its appearance certified that ‘‘ All sorcery was dissolved and every wicked spell 
vanished, ignorance was overthrown and the old kingdom was destroyed, when 
God appeared in human guise unto newness of eternal life. Then that which had 
been prepared within God’s counsels began to take effect. Thence were all things 
perturbed, because the abolition of death was being undertaken” (ἐλύετο πᾶσα 
μαγεία, καὶ πᾶς δεσμὸς ἠφανίζετο κακίας, ἄγνοια καθῃρεῖτο, παλαιὰ βασιλεία 
διεφθείρετο, θεοῦ ἀνθρωπίνως φανερουμένου εἰς καινότητα ἀϊδίου ζωῆς " ἀρχὴν δὲ 
ἐλάμβανεν τὸ παρὰ θεῷ ἀπηρτισμένον. ἔνθεν τὰ πάντα συνεκινεῖτο διὰ τὸ 
μελετᾶσθαι θανάτου κατάλυσιν. The Christians of Edessa were still more 
venturesome. They declared in the third century that Jesus had corresponded 
with their king Abgar, and cured him. Eusebius (7. Z., 1, ad fiz.) thought this 
tale of great importance ; it seemed to him a sort of substitute for any direct work 
of Jesus among pagans. 


Jesus himself. Compare the Apology of Aristides (ii.) ; Just., 
Apol., I. xxxix.; Ascens. Isaiae, ili. 13 ἢ, (where the coming of 
the twelve disciples belongs to the fundamental facts of the 
gospel); Iren., Fragm. 29; Tertull., Apol. xxi., adv. Mare. 1Π|.} 
xxii. (habes et apostolorum opus praedicatum); Hippol., de 
Antichr. 61 ; Orig., c. Cels., III. xxviii.; Acta Joh. (ed. Zahn, 
Ρ. 246: “the God who chose us to be apostles of the heathen, 
who sent us out into the world, who showed himself by the 
apostles”); Serapion in Eus., H.L., vi. 12.2 Details on this 
conception of the primitive apostles will be found in Book III. 

1 Harvey II. p. 494: οὗτος [ὁ χριστὸς] ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς, ἐν χώματι κρυβεὶς 
καὶ τριημέρῳ μέγιστον δένδρον γεννηθεὶς ἐξέτεινε τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ κλάδους εἰς τὰ πέρατα 
τῆς γῆς. ἐκ τούτου προκύψαντες of ιβ᾽ ἀπόστολοι, κλάδοι ὡραῖοι, καὶ εὐθαλεῖς 
γενηϑέντες σκέπη ἐγγενήθησαν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, ὧς πετεινοῖς οὐρανοῦ, ὑφ᾽ ὧν κλάδων 
σκεπασθέντες οἱ πάντες, ὡς ὄρνεα ὑπὸ καλιὰν συνελθόντα μετέλαβον τῆς ἐξ αὐτῶν 
προερχομένης ἐδωδίμου καὶ ἐπουρανίον τροφῆς Ξε" Within the heart of the earth, 
hidden in the tomb, he became in three days the greatest of all trees [Iren, had 
previously compared Christ to the seed of corn in Luke xiii, 19], and stretched 
out his branches to the ends of the earth. His outstretched branches, waxing 
ripe and fresh, even the twelve apostles, became a shelter for the birds of 
heaven, even for the nations. By these branches all were shadowed, like birds 
gathered in a nest, and partook of the food and heavenly nourishment which came 
forth from them.” 

* This idea suggests one of the motives which prompted people to devise tales 
of apostolic missions, 




1. Berore his last journey to Jerusalem Paul wrote from 
Corinth to Rome (Rom. xv. 19 f.): “From Jerusalem and 
round about even unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the 
gospel of Christ; yea, making it my aim so to preach the gospel 
not where Christ was already named, that I might not build 
upon another man’s foundation. Wherefore also I was hindered 
these many times from coming to you; but now, having no 
more any place in these regions, and having these many years a 
longing to come unto you, I will come whenever I go to Spain. 
For I hope to see you on my journey and to be brought on my 
way thitherward by you, if first in some measure I shall have 
been satisfied with your company.” 

The preaching of the gospel within the Greek world is now 
complete (for this is What the words “even unto Illyria” imply) ; 
the Latin world now begins.!_ Paul thus identifies his own 
missionary preaching along a narrow line from Jerusalem to Illyria 
with the preaching of the gospel to the entire Eastern hemi- 
sphere—a conception which is only intelligible upon the supposi- 
tion that the certainty of the world’s near end made no other 
kind of mission possible than one which thus hastily covered 
- the world’s area. The fundamental idea is that the gospel has 
to be preached everywhere during the short remaining space of 

1 Egypt could not be passed over, for the Greek world with would 
have been incomplete. But Haul never alludes to Egypt ei 
He must have known that other missionaries were labot 
regard Egypt, like John (AZoc. xi. 8), as a land which was 

nothing could be hoped from it ? 


the present world-age,! while at the same time this is only 
feasible by means of mission-tours across the world. The fire 
it is assumed, will spread right and left spont»neously from the 
line of flame.’ 

This idea, that the world must be traversed, was apparently 
conceived by the apostle on his so-called “second” missionary 
tour. Naturally he viewed it as a divine injunction, for it is 
in this sense that we must interpret the difficult passage in 
Acts xvi. 6-8. If Paul had undertaken this second tour with 
the aim of reaching the Hellenistic districts on the coast of 
Asia Minor, and if he had become conscious in the course of his 
work that he was also called to be an apostle to the Greeks, 
then on the western border of Phrygia this consciousness passed 
into the sense of a still higher duty. He is not merely the 
apostle of the barbarians (Syrians, Cilicians, Lycaonians), not 
merely the apostle even of barbarians and Greeks, but the apostle 
of the world. He is commissioned to bear the gospel right to 
the western limits of the Roman empire; that is, he must fill — 
up the gaps left by the missionaries in their efforts to cover the 
whole ground. Hence he turns aside on the frontier of Phrygia, 
neither westwards (to Asia) nor northward (to Bithynia), as one 
might expect and as he originally planned to do, but north- 
west. Even Mysia he only hurries through. The decision to 
pass by Asia and Bithynia meant that he was undertaking a 
mission to Macedonia, Achaia, and beyond that to the West. 

_ Philippi, Thessalonica, Bercea, Athens, Corinth—or, to put 
it more accurately, from Paul’s standpoint, Macedonia and 
Achaia—heard the gospel». But why did he remain for eighteen — 
months in Corinth? Why did he not travel on at once to 
Rome, and thence to the far West? Why did he interpolate a 
fresh tour, at this poiut, to Asia Minor, residing no less than 

1 The idea recurs in the gospels (Mark xiii. 10). Was Paul the first to conceive 
it and to give it currency? 

2 Cp. 1 Thess. i. 8 ; ‘Rom. i. 8; Col. i. 6. 
3N The whole of the so-called ‘‘ first” mission-tour is inexplicable 
ἣν « iis idea in his mind. Wendt is quite right in saying (on 
at this period was merely conscious of being an apostle to 
the Greeks, Otherwise, the choice of a mission-field in 



-- σιν τοὶ 


three years at Ephesus? The answer is obvious. While he 
had Rome and the West in his mind, the first time he reached 
Corinth (Rom. i. 13), circumstances fortunately proved too strong 
for any attempt to realize this ambitious scheme. If I under-~ 
stand the situation aright, there were three considerations which 
had to be borne in mind. First of all, Paul neither would nor 
could lose touch with the two mother-churches in Jerusalem and 
Antioch. This made him return upon his tracks on two 

_ occasions. In the second place, he felt irresistibly bound to 

build up the churches which he had founded, instead of leaving 
them in the lurch after a few weeks. The duty of organising 
and of working on a small scale prevailed over the visionary and 
alleged duty of hurrying over the world with the gospel; the 
latter duty might well have lurking in it a grain of personal 
ambition. Finally, it was plain that no one had raised the 
standard of the gospel in the great province which he had been 

__ obliged to pass by, z.e., in Western Asia Minor, the kernel of the 

Hellenic world. Paul had certainly assumed that other agents 
would preach the word of God here. But his hope was dis- 
appointed. On his first return journey (from Corinth to Jeru- 
salem) he was content to leave behind him at Ephesus the dis- 
tinguished missionary Prisca with her husband Aquila; but 
when he came back on his so-called “ third” journey, he found 
not only the small beginnings of a Christian community, but 
disciples of John, whose mission he could not afford to ignore. 
The local sphere proved so rich and fertile that he felt obliged 
to take up residence at Ephesus. Here it was that he pursued 
the task of that spiritual settlement between Hellenism and 
Christianity which he had begun at Corinth. The first epistle 
to the Corinthians is evidence of this relationship. At Antioch no 
such adjustment was possible, for Antioch was simply a large 
Greek colony ; it was Greek only in the sense in which Calcutta 
is English. 

Paul, however, had not abandoned his scheme for covering the 
world with the gospel. The realization of it was only deferred 
in the sense in which the return of Christ was deferred. Probably 
he would have remained still longer at Ephesus (in the neigh- 
bourhood of which, as well as throughout the district, new 


churches had sprung up) and come into closer touch with 
Hellenism, had he not been disturbed by news from Corinth 
and finally driven out of the city by a small riot. 

Paul’s labours made Ephesus the third capital of Christianity, 
its distinctively Greek capital. For a while it looked as if Ephesus 
was actually destined to be the final headquarters of the faith. 
But already a rival was emerging in the far West, which was to 
eclipse the Asiatic metropolis. This was Rome, the fourth city 
of Christianity, destined ere long to be the first. 

When he left Ephesus to journey through Macedonia and 
Achaia, he again became the itinerant apostle, and once more the 
unforgotten idea of traversing the wide world got possession of his 
mind. From Corinth he wrote to Rome the words with which 
this chapter opened — words which lose something of their 
hyperbolic air when we think of the extraordinary success 
already won by the apostle in Macedonia and Achaia, in Asia 
and Phrygia. He had the feeling that, despite the poor results 
in Athens, he had conquered the Hellenic world. Conscious of 
this religious and intellectual triumph, he deemed his task within 
that sphere already done. 

Nor did God need him now in Rome or throughout Italy. 
There the gospel had been already preached, and a great church 

had been organized by unknown missionaries. The faith of this ~ 

church was “ heard of through the whole world.” Spain alone 
remained, for the adjacent Gaul and Africa could be reached 
along this line of work. Spain is selected, instead of Gaul or 
Africa, because the apostle’s idea was to run a transversal line 
right across the empire. So Clement of Rome rightly understood 
him (i. 5), in words which almost sound like those of the apostle 
himself: “Seven times imprisoned, exiled, stoned, having preached 
in the east and in the west, a teacher of righteousness to the 
whole world even to the furthest limit of the west.” 

Did he manage this? Not in the first instance, at any rate. He 
had again to return to the far East, and the gloomy forebodings 
with which he travelled to Jerusalem were realized. When he 
did reach Rome, a year or two later, it was as a prisoner. But 
if he could no longer work as he desired to do, his activities were 
undiminished, in the shape of preaching at Rome, writing 


letters to churches far away, and holding intercourse with friends 
from the East. 

When he was beheaded in the summer of 64 a.p., he had fully 
discharged his obligations to the peoples of the world. He was 
the apostle κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν. To barbarians, Greeks, and Latins he 
had brought the gospel. But his greatness does not lie in the 
mere fact that he penetrated as a missionary to Illyria, Rome, 
and probably Spain as well; it lies in the manner in which he 
trained his fellow-workers and organized, as well as created, his 
churches. Though all that was profoundly Hellenic remained ‘ 
obscure to him, yet he rooted Christianity permanently in 
Hellenic soil. He was not the only one to do so, but it was his 
ideas alone which proved a new ferment within Hellenism, as 
the gnostics, Irenzeus, Origen, and Augustine especially show. So 
far as there ever was an original Christian Hellenism, it was 
under Pauline influences. Paul lived on in his epistles. They 
are not merely records of his personality and work—though even 
in this light few writings in the world are to be compared to 
them—but, as the profound outcome of a vital personal religion 
and an unheard-of inner conflict, they are also perennial springs 
of religious power. Every age has understood them in its own 
way. None has yet exhausted them. Even in their periods of 
depreciation they have been singularly influential. 

Of the four centres of Christianity during the first century— 
Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, and Rome—one alone was the 
work of Paul, and even Ephesus did not remain as loyal to 
its founder as might have been expected. As the “father” of 
his churches he fell into the background everywhere ; in fact he 
was displaced, and displaced by the development of mediocrity, 
of that “natural” piety which gets on quite well by itself. 
Neither his strength nor his weakness was transmitted to his 
churches. In this sense Paul remained an isolated personality, 
but he always was the teacher of Christendom, and this he 
became more than ever as the years went by. 

2. His legacy, apart from his epistles, was his churches. He 
designated them indeed as his “epistles.” Neither his vocation 
(as a restless, pioneering missionary), nor his temperament, nor 
his religious genius (as an ecstatic enthusiast and a somewhat ex- 


clusive theologian) seemed to fit him for the work of organization ; 
nevertheless he knew better than anyone else how to found and 
build up churches (cp. Weinel, Paulus als kirchlicher Organisator, 
1899). Recognizing the supreme fruits of the Spirit in faith, 
love, hope, and all the allied virtues, bringing the outbursts of 
enthusiasm into the service of edification, subordinating the in- 
dividual to the larger organism, claiming the natural conditions 
of social life, for all their defects and worldliness, as divine 
arrangements, he overcame the dangers of fanaticism and created 
churches which could live in the world without being of the 
world. But organization never became for Paul an end in itself 
or a means to worldly aggrandizement. Such was by no means 
his intention. ‘The aims of his ecclesiastical labours were unity 
_. in brotherly love and the reign of God in the heart of man, not 
'» the rule of savants or priests over the laity.” In his theology 
and in his controversy with the Judaists he seems often to be 
like an inquisitor or a fanatical scribe, and he has been accused 
of inoculating the church with the virus of theological narrow- 
ness and heresy-mongering. But in reality the only confession 
he recognised, besides that of the living God, was the confession 
of “ Christ the Lord,” and towards the close of his life he testi- 
fied that he would tolerate any doctrine which occupied that 
ground. ‘The spirit of Christ, liberty, love—to these supreme 
levels, in spite of his temperament and education, he won his 
own way, and it was on these high levels that: he sought to place 
his churches. 

3. There was a great disparity between him and his coadjutors. 
Among the more independent, Barnabas, Silas (Silvanus), Prisca 
and Aquila, and Apollos deserve mention. Of Barnabas we 
have already spoken (pp. 52 f.). Silas, the prophet of the Jeru- 
salemite church, took his place beside Paul, and held a position 
during the so-called “second” missionary tour like that of 
Barnabas during the “first.” Perhaps the fact that Paul took 
him as a companion was a fresh assurance for the church of 
Jerusalem. But, so far as we can see (cp. 2 Cor. i. 19), no dis- 
cord marred their intercourse. Silas shared with him the work 
of founding the churches in Macedonia and Achaia. There- 
after he disappears entirely from the life of Paul and the Acts 


of the Apostles, to reappear, we are surprised to find, as an 
author at the conclusion of the epistle to Pontus, Galatia, Cap- 
padocia, Asia, and Bithynia, which was inspired by Peter (for 
such is in all probability the meaning of v. 12: διὰ Σιλονανοῦ 
ὑμῖν τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, ὡς λογίζομαι, δι’ ὀλίγων ἔγραψα). 
This abrupt reference to him, which stands quite by itself, must 
remain an enigma. Prisca and Aquila, the wife and husband 
(or rather, Prisca the missionary, with her husband Aquila), who 
were exiled from Rome to Corinth during the reign of Claudius, 
had the closest relation to Paul of all the independent workers 
in the mission. ‘They co-operated with him at Corinth; they 
prepared the way for him at Ephesus, where Prisca showed her 
Christian intelligence by winning over Apollos, the Alexandrian 
disciple of John, to Christ; they once saved the apostle’s life ; 
and, on returning to Rome, they carried on the work upon Paul’s 
lines (cp. my study in the Sitzwngsberichte der Berliner Akademie, 
Jan. 11, 1900). ‘There is much to be said for the hypothesis 
that Hebrews was their composition, whether from the pen of 
Prisca or of Aquila (cp. my essay in the Zeitschrift fiir die 
neutest. Wissenschaft, vol. i. pp. 1 ἔς 1900). Apollos, the 
Alexandrian, worked independently in the field which Paul had 
planted at Corinth. Paul only refers to him in First Corinthians, 
but invariably with respect and affection; he was well aware 
that the Corinthians attributed a certain rivalry and coolness to 
himself and Apollos. At the same time it may be questioned 
whether the work of this able colleague, whom he had not per- 
sonally chosen, was thoroughly congenial to him. The abrupt 
reference in Tit. iii. 13 unfortunately does not tell us anything 
beyond the fact that their subsequent intercourse was unimpaired. 

Among the missionaries whom Paul himself secured or trained, 
Timothy occupies the foremost place. We learn a good deal 
about him, and his personality was so important even to the 
author of Acts that his origin and selection for this office are 
described (xvi. 1). Still, we cannot form any clear idea of this, 
the most loyal of Paul’s younger coadjutors, probably because 

he leant so heavily on the apostle. After Paul’s death at Rome 

he carried on his work there, having been with him in the 
capital, and thus came into touch with the local church. He 


was for a time in prison, and survived to the reign of Domitian 

(Heb. xiii. 23).—Mark, who belonged to the primitive church 

of Jerusalem, Titus, and Luke the physician, are to be singled! 
out among the other missionaries of the second class. With 

regard to Mark, whom Paul did not take with him on his so- 

called “ second” tour, but who later on is found in his company 

(Philemon 24, Col. iv. 10, 2 Tim. iv. 11), it is just possible 

(though, in my judgment, it is not likely) that tradition has 

made one figure out of two. He it is who, according to the 

presbyter John, made notes of the gospel story. Titus, of 
whom little is known, was a full-blooded pagan (Gal. ii. 1 f.), and 

laboured for some time in Crete. Luke, who came across Paul 

at 'Troas ‘on the latter’s second tour, belonged to the church of 
Antioch. Like Titus, he was a Gentile Christian. He furnished 

primitive Christianity with its most intelligent, though not its 

greatest, author. Paul does not appear, however, to have fully 

recognised the importance of this “ beloved physician” (Col. iv. 

15), his “ fellow-worker” (Philemon 24). The last reference to 
his fellow-workers indeed is not enthusiastic. The epistle to the 
Philippians breathes an air of isolation, and in 2 Tim. iv. 9 f. we 
read: “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me; for Demas 
has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is gone to 
Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke 
alone is with me [rather a mediocre consolation, it would seem !]. 

Take Mark and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for 
ministering. Tychicus I sent to Ephesus. Alexander the 
coppersmith did me much evil. At my first defence no one 
took my part, but all forsook me.” It would be unfair, however, 
_ to judge Paul’s coadjutors by these expressions of dissatisfaction. 
Evidently they had not done as Paul wished, but we are quite 
in the dark upon the reasons for their action. 

4. The first epistle of Peter is a very dubious piece of evidence 
for the idea that Peter, either with or after Paul, took part in 
the mission to Asia Minor; but there is no doubt that some 
prominent Palestinian Christians came to Asia and Phrygia, 
perhaps after the destruction of Jerusalem, and that they dis- 
played remarkable activity in the district. At their head was — 
a man who came to Ephesus and died there, at a ripe age, during 


_ the first year of the reign of Trajan. This was John “the 
_ Presbyter,” as he called himself, and as he was called by his own 
circle. He worked in the Pauline churches of Asia, both in 
person and by means of letters; he added to their number, 
organized them internally, and maintained an extraordinarily 
sharp opposition to heretics. He retained the oversight of the 
churches, and exercised it by means of itinerant emissaries. His 
influence was apostolic or equivalent to that of an apostolic 
authority, but towards the end of his life several churches, 
conscious of their independence, endeavoured, in conjunction 
with their bishops, to throw off his supervision. When he died, 
_ there was an end of the mission organisation, which had latterly 
survived in his own person: the independent, local authority 
came to the front on all hands. When Ignatius reached Asia, 
twelve or fifteen years afterwards, the former had entirely 
disappeared, and even the memory of this John had given place 
to that of Paul. The Johannine circle must therefore have been 
rather limited during its latter phase. Even John must have 
been pretty isolated.1. The second and third epistles of John 
certainly belong to him, and we may therefore ascribe to him, 
with much probability, the Fourth gospel and the first epistle of 

_ John also—in fact, we may go a step further and claim for him the 

Apocalypse with its seven letters and its Christian revision of one 
or more Jewish apocalypses. ‘This hypothesis is the simplest 
which can be framed: it meets the data of tradition better than 
any other, and it encounters no fatal objections. All that can 
be said of the personality of this John within the limits of 
reasonable probability, is that he was not the son of Zebedee, 
but a Jerusalemite of priestly origin, otherwise unknown to us, 
and a disciple of the Lord ;? furthermore, as the gospel indicates, 

1 The same fate apparently overtook him which he had prepared for Paul. Of 
course we are all in a mist here, but the entire silence of the seven letters in the 
Apocalypse with regard to Paul is a problem which is not to be waved aside as 
insignificant. Even the same silence in the gospel of John, where so many other 
indications of recent history are to be heard, is extremely surprising. Those who 
wanted to refer the mission of the Paraclete to Paul (Origen mentions them ; cp. 
addenda) were certainly wrong, but they were right in looking out for some allusion 
to Paul in the gospel, and they could not find any other. 

2 This title suggests, but does not prove, that he was a personal disciple of 
Jesus, since it occurs not in Jerusalem but in Asia, 

VOL, 1. 6 


he must at one time have been specially connected with John 
the son of Zebedee! If his authority collapsed towards the end 
of his life, or was confined to a small circle, that circle (“ of 
presbyters”) certainly succeeded in restoring and extending his 
authority by editing his writings and disseminating them 
throughout the churches. In all likelihood, too, they purposely 
identified the “apostle,” presbyter, and disciple of the Lord 
‘with the son of Zebedee ; or, at least, they did not oppose this 
erroneous tendency. | 

Apart from this John we can name the evangelist Philip and 
his four prophetic daughters, Aristion the disciple of the Lord, 
and probably the apostle Andrew as among those who came to 
Asia Minor. As for Philip (already confused in the second cen- 
tury with his namesake the apostle) and his daughters, we have 
clear evidence for his activity in Phrygian Hierapolis. Papias 
mentions Aristion together with John as primitive witnesses, 
and an Armenian manuscript ascribes the unauthentic ending of 
Mark’s gospel to him—an ending which is connected with Luke 
and the Fourth gospel, and perhaps originated in Asia Minor. 
We may conjecture, from the old legends preserved in the 
Muratorian fragment, that Andrew came to Asia Minor, and 
this is confirmed by the tradition (late, but not entirely worth- 
less) that he died in Greece.’ 

At the close of the first century Asia and Phrygia were the 
only two provinces in which Palestinian traditions survived in 

1 The most likely conjecture is that the beloved disciple was the son of Zebedee. 
Everything follows naturally from this view. The Presbyter need not have 
gained his special relationship to John in Asia Minor: it may go back quite 
well to Jerusalem, The formal difficulty of the two Johns has to be faced, but 
after all ‘‘John” was a common name, If it would at all simplify the critical 
problem to assume that the son of Zebedee was also in Asia Minor, one might 
credit this tradition, which is vouched for as early as Justin Martyr. But this 
would not affect the problem of the authorship of the Johannine writings, though 
it might explain how the author of those writings came to be identified, at a com- 
paratively early time, with the apostle John. 

2 We may refer here to Ignat., ad Ephes., xi.: ἵνα ἐνὶ κλήρῳ ᾿Εφεσίων εὑρεθῶ 
τῶν Χριστιανῶν, ot καὶ τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πάντοτε συνήνεσαν (ν. 1, συνῆσαν) ἐν δυνάμει 
Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ (‘‘That I may be found in the company of those Ephesian 
Christians who moreover were ever of one mind with the apostles in the power 
of Jesus Christ”), The reading συνήνεσαν does not necessarily prove the personal 
residence of the apostle in Ephesus, however. 

ES Blas: 5s Rea 


the person of individual representatives. At the same time, 

_ probably, in no other part of the empire were there so many 

_ closely allied churches as here and in Pontus and Bithynia. 

_ This must have lent them, and especially the church at Ephesus, 

a high repute. When Clement of Alexandria was in search of 
early traditions, he turned to Asia; and even in Rome people 
were well aware of the significance with which the Asiatic " 
_ churches were invested owing to their traditions, though Rome 
was never willing to take the second place. About 50 a.p. 
_ Christianity was an ellipse whose foci were Jerusalem and \ 
_ Antioch; fifty years later these foci were Ephesus and Rome. / 
_ The change implied in this proves the greatness of Paul’s work | 
and of the work done by the first Christian missionaries. 




Tue unity and the variety which characterized the preaching 
of Christianity from the very first constituted the secret of its 
fascination and a vital condition of its success. On the one 
hand, it was so simple that it could be summed up in a few 
brief sentences and understood in a single crisis of the inner life ; 
on the other hand, it was so versatile and rich, that it vivified all 
thought and stimulated every emotion. It was capable, almost 
from the outset, of vieing with every noble and worthy enter- 
prise, with any speculation, or with any cult of the mysteries. 
It was both new and old; it wasalike present and future. Clear 
and transparent, it was also profound and full of mystery. It had — 
statutes, and yet rose superior to any law. It was a doctrine 
and yet no doctrine, a philosophy and yet something different 
from philosophy. Western Catholicism, when surveyed as a — 
whole, has been described as a complexio oppositorum, but this 
was also true of the Christian propaganda in its earliest stages. — 
Consequently, to exhibit the preaching and labours of the — 
Christian mission with the object of explaining the amazing — 
success of Christianity, we must try to get a uniform grasp of all | 
its component factors. 

We shall proceed then to describe :— 

1. The religious characteristics of the mission-preaching. 

2. The gospel of salvation and of the Saviour. 

3. The gospel of love and charity. 




De ἃ ἀκ» 


4. The religion of the Spirit and power, of moral earnestness 
and holiness. 

5. The religion of authority and of reason, of mysteries and 

6. ‘The message of a new People and of a Third race (or the __ 

historical and political consciousness of Christendom). 

7. The religion of a Book, and of an historical realization. 

8. The conflict with polytheism and idolatry. 

In the course of these chapters we hope to do justice to the 
wealth of the religion, without impairing or obscuring the power 
of its simplicity.1 One point must be left out, of course: that is, 
the task of following the development of Christian doctrine into 
the dogmas of the church’s catechism, as well as into the 
Christian philosophy of religion propounded by Origen and his 
school. Doctrine, in both of these forms, was unquestionably 
of great moment to the mission of Christianity, particularly 
after the date of its earliest definition (relatively speaking) 
about the middle of the third century. But such a subject 
would require a book to itself. I have endeavoured, in the first 

volume of my History of Dogma (third edition)? to deal with it, 

and to that work I must refer any who may desire to see how 
the unavoidable gaps of the present volume are to be filled up. 

? At the Scilitan martyrdom the proconsul remarks: ‘‘ Et nos religiosi sumus, 
et simplex est religio nostra” (‘‘ Our religion is simple”). To which Speratus the 
Christian replies: ‘‘ Si tranquillas praebueris aures tuas, dico mysterium simplici- 
tatis”’ (‘‘If you give me a quiet hearing, I shall tell you the mystery of 
simplicity ”’), 

2 Cp. my Grundriss der Dogmengeschichte (4th ed., 1905). 


ἐς MIssIONARY PREACHING” is a term which may be taken in a 
double sense. Its broader meaning covers all the forces of influ- 
ence, attraction, and persuasion which the gospel had at its com- 
mand, all the materials that it collected and endowed with life 
and power as it developed into a syncretistic religion during the 
first three centuries. ‘The narrower sense of the term embraces 

simply the crucial message of faith and the ethical requirements — 

of the gospel. ‘Taking it in the latter sense, we shall devote the 
present chapter to a description of the fundamental principles 
of the missionary preaching. 'The broader conception has a wide 
‘range. The Old Testament and the new literature of Christianity, 
healing and redemption, gnosis and apologetic, myth and sacra- 
ment, the conquest of demons, forms of social organization and 

charity—all these played their part in the mission-preaching | 

and helped to render it impressive and convincing. Even in — 

the narrower sense of the term, our description of the mission- 
preaching must be kept within bounds, for the conception of 
the crucial message of faith and its ethical requirements is bound 

up naturally with the development of dogma, and the latter (as — 

I have already remarked) cannot be exhibited without over- 
stepping the precincts of the present volume. At the same time, 
these limitations are not very serious, since, to the best of our 
knowledge, mission-preaching (in the narrower sense of the term) 
was fairly extinct after the close of the second century. Its 

place was taken by the instruction of catechumens, by the train- _ 
ing of the household in and for the Christian faith, and by — 
the worship of the church. Finally, we must eschew the error of 
imagining that everyone who came over to Christianity was won — 


sail hahaa oh eee 


by a missionary propaganda of dogmatic completeness. So far 
as our sources throw light on this point, they reveal a very 
different state of things, and this applies even to the entire 
period preceding Constantine. In countless instances, it was 
but one ray of light that wrought the change. One person 
would be brought over by means of the Old Testament, another 
by the exorcising of demons, a third by the purity of Christian 
life; others, again, by the monotheism of Christianity, above all 
by the prospect of complete expiation, or by the prospect which 
it held out of immortality, or by the profundity of its specula- 
tions, or by the social standing which it conferred. In the great 
majority of cases, so long as Christianity did not yet propagate 
itself naturally, one believer may well have produced another, 
just as one prophet anointed his successor ; example (not confined 
to the case of the martyrs) and the personal manifestation of the 
Christian life led to imitation. A complete knowledge of 
Christian doctrine, which was still a plant of very tender growth 
in the second century, was certainly the attainment of a small 
minority. “Idiotae, quorum semper maior pars est,” says 
Tertullian (“The uneducated are always in a majority with 
us”). Hippolytus bewails the ignorance even of a Roman 
bishop. Even the knowledge of the Scriptures, though they 
were read in private, remained of necessity the privilege of an 
individual here and there, owing to their extensiveness and the 
difficulty of understanding them.! 

The earliest mission-preaching. to Jews ran thus: ‘“'The 
kingdom of God is at hand; repent.” The Jews thought they 
knew what was the meaning of the kingdom of heaven and of its 
advent ; but they had to be told the meaning of the repentance 
that secured the higher righteousness, so that “ God’s kingdom ἢ 
also acquired a new meaning. 

1 Bishops and theologians, in the West especially, are always bewailing the 
defective knowledge of the Bible among the laity, and even among the clergy. 
Cp. also Clemens Alexandrinus, 

2 The earliest mission-preaching (Matt. x. 7 f.) with which the disciples of 
Jesus were charged, ran: κηρύσσετε λέγοντες ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. 
Although repentance is not actually mentioned, it is to be supplied from other 
passages. The prospect of power to do works of healing is also held out to 

them (ἀσθενοῦντας θεραπεύετε, νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε, Aempods καθαρίζετε, δαιμόνια 



The second stage in the mission-preaching to Jews was deter- 

mined: by this tenet: “The risen 1 Jesus is the Messiah [cp. Matt. 

x. $2], and will return from heaven to establish his kingdom.” 

The third stage was marked by the interpretation of the Old 
Testament as a whole (i.¢., the law and the prophets) from the 
standpoint of its fulfilment in Jesus Christ, along with the accom- 
panying need of securing and formulating that inwardness of 
disposition and moral principle which members of the Messianic 
church, who were called and kept by the Holy Spirit, knew to be 
their duty. This must have made them realize that the obsery- 
ance of the law, which had hitherto prevailed, was inadequate 
either to cancel sin or to gain righteousness ; also that Jesus the 
Messiah had died that sins might be forgiven (γνωστὸν ἔστω 
ὑμῖν, ὅτι διὰ τούτου ὑμῖν ἄφεσις ἁμαρτιῶν καταγγέλλεται ἀπὸ 
πάντων ὧν οὐκ ἠδυνήθητε ἐν νόμῳ Μωῦύσέως δικαιωθῆαι) 

1 Cp. the confession of the resurrection common to primitive Christianity, in 1 
Cor. xv. 4 f. 

2 To ‘‘imitate” or ‘‘ be like” Christ did not occupy the place one would 

expect among the ethical counsels of the age. Jesus had spoken of imitating God 
and bidden men follow himself, whilst the relationship of pupil and teacher 
readily suggested the formula of imitation. But whenever he was recognized as 
Messiah, as the Son of God, as Saviour, and as Judge, the ideas of imitation and 
likeness had to give way, although the apostles still continued to urge both in 
their epistles, and to hold up the mind, the labours, and the sufferings of Jesus as 
anexample. In the early church the imitation of Christ never became a formal 
principle of ethics (to use a modern phrase) except for the virtuoso in religion, the 
ecclesiastic, the teacher, the ascetic, or the martyr ; it played quite a subordinate 
role in the ethical teaching of the church. Even the injunction to be like Christ, 
in the strict sense of the term, occurs comparatively seldom. Still, it is interesting 
to collect and examine the passages relative to this point ; they show that whilst a 
parallel was fully drawn between the life of Christ and the career and conduct of 
distinguished Christians such as the confessors, the early church did not go the 
length of drawing up general injunctions with regard to the imitation of Christ. 
For one thing, the Christology stood in the way, involving not imitation but 
obedience ; for another thing, the literal details of imitation seemed too severe. 
Those who made the attempt were always classed as Christians of a higher order 
(though even at this early period they were warned against presumption), so that 
the Catholic theory of ‘‘ evangelic counsels” has quite a primitive root. 

3 Acts xiii. 38; up to this point, I think, the Jewish Christian view is clearly 
stated in the address of Paul at Antioch, but the further development of the idea 
(ἐν τούτῳ πᾶς ὃ πιστεύων δικαιοῦται, ‘‘by whom everyone who believes is 
justified’) is specifically Pauline. Taken as a whole, however, the speech affords 
a fine example of missionary preaching to the Jews. From 1 Cor, xv. 3 it 
follows that the tenet, ‘‘ Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,” was 
not simply Pauline, but common to Christianity in general. Weizsacker (of. céz., 



“ You know that when you were pagans you were led away to 
dumb idols (1 Cor. xii. 9). “ You turned to God from idols, 
to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son 
from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who 
delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. i. 9, 10). Here 
we have the mission-preaching to pagans in a nutshell. The 
“living and true God” is the first and final thing; the second 
is Jesus, the Son of God, the judge, who secures us against the 
_ wrath to come, and who is therefore “ Jesus the Lord.” ΤῸ the 
ο΄ living God, now preached to all men, we owe faith and devoted 
service; to God’s Son as Lord, our due is faith and hope.! 

The contents of this brief message—objective and subjective, 
positive and negative—are inexhaustible. Yet the message 
itself is thoroughly compact and complete. It is objective and 
positive as the message which tells of the only God, who is 
spiritual, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the creator of 
heaven and earth, the Lord and Father of men, and the great 
disposer of human history ;” furthermore, it is the message which 
tells of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came from heaven, 


pp. 60 f, ; Eng. trans., i. 74 f.) rightly lays great stress on the fact that previous 
to Paul and alongside of him, even within Jewish Christian circles (as in the case 
of Peter), the view must have prevailed that the law and its observance were not 
perfectly adequate to justification before God, and that a soteriological significance 
attached to Jesus the Messiah or to his death. 

1 When questioned upon the ‘‘dogma” of Christians, Justin answered: ὅπερ 
εὐσεβοῦμεν εἰς τὸν τῶν Χριστιανῶν θεόν, ὃν ἡγούμεθα Eva τοῦτον ef ἀρχῆς ποιητὴν 
καὶ δημιουργὸν τῆς πάσης κτίσεως, ὁρατῆς τε καὶ ἀοράτου, καὶ κύριον Ἰησοῦν 
Χριστὸν παῖδα θεοῦ, ὃς καὶ προκεκήρυκται ὑπὸ τῶν προφετῶν μέλλων παραγίνεσθαι 
τῷ γένει τῶν ἀνθρώπων σωτηρίας κήρυξ καὶ διδάσκαλος καλῶν μαθητῶν (Acta 
Just., i.) (Τὸ is that whereby we worship the God of the Christians, whom we 
consider to be One from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole 
creation, visible and invisible, and also the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, 
whom the prophets foretold would come to the race of men, a herald of salvation 
and a teacher of good disciples’’). 

2 In this respect the speech put by Luke (Acts xvii. 22-30) into the mouth ot 
Paul at the Areopagus is typical and particularly instructive. It exhibits, at the 
same time, an alliance with the purest conceptions of Hellenism. We must 
combine this speech with First Thessalonians, in order to understand how the 
fundamentals of mission-preaching were laid before pagans, and also in order to 
get rid of the notion that Galatians and Romans are a model of Paul’s preaching 
to pagan audiences.—The characteristic principles of the mission-preaching (both 
negative and positive) are also preserved, with particular lucidity, in the frag- 
mentary Kerugma Petri, an early composition which, as the very title indicates, 

was plainly meant to be a compendium of doctrine for missionary purposes. 

Re ae 


made known the Father, died for sins, rose, sent the Spirit 
hither, and from his seat at God's right hand will return for the 1 
judgment ;' finally, it is the message of salvation brought by 
Jesus the Saviour, that is, freedom from the tyranny of demons, 
sin, and death, together with the gift of life eternal. 

Then it is objective and negative, since it announces the 
vanity of all other gods, and forms a protest against idols of 
gold and silver and wood, as well as against blind fate and 

Finally, it si subjective, as it declares the uselessness of all 
sacrifice, all temples, and all worship of man’s devising, and 
opposes to these the worship of God in spirit and in truth, 
assurance of faith, holiness and self-control, love and brotherli- 
ness, and lastly the solid certainty of the resurrection and of 
life eternal, implying the futility of the present life, which lies 
exposed to future judgment. 

This new kind of preaching excited extraordinary fears and 
hopes: fears of the imminent end of the world and of the great. 
reckoning, at which even the just could hardly pass muster; 
hopes of a glorious reign on earth, after the dénowement, and of 
a paradise which was to be filled with precious delights and 
overflowing with comfort and bliss. Probably no religion had 
ever proclaimed openly to men such terrors and such happiness. 

To wide circles this message of the one and almighty God no 

1 Thaddaeus announces to Abgar a missionary address for the next day, and 
gives the following preliminary outline of its contents (Eus., &Z., i. 13): 
κηρύξω καὶ σπερῶ τὸν λόγον τῆς ζωῆς, περὶ Te τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ καθὼς 
ἐγένετο, καὶ περὶ τῆς ἀποστολῆς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἕνεκα τίνος ἀπεστάλη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός, 
καὶ περὶ τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ τῶν ἔργων αὐτοῦ καὶ μυστηρίων ὧν ἐλάλησεν ἐν κόσμῳ, 
καὶ ποίᾳ δυνάμει ταῦτα ἐποίει, καὶ περὶ τῆς καινῆς αὐτοῦ κηρύξεως, καὶ περὶ τῆς 
μικρότητος, καὶ περὶ τῆς ταπεινώσεως, καὶ πῶς ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀπέθετο καὶ 
ἐσμίκρυνεν αὑτοῦ τῆν θεότητα, καὶ ἐσταυρώθη, καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὸν ἍΑιδην, καὶ 
διέσχισε φραγμὸν τὸν ἐξ αἰῶνος μὴ σχισθέντα, καὶ ἀνήγειρεν νεκροὺς καὶ κατέβη 
μόνος, ἀνέβη δὲ μετὰ πολλοῦ ὄχλον πρὸς τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ (“1 will preach and 
sow the word of God, concerning the advent of Jesus, even the manner of his 
birth: concerning his mission, even the purpose for which the Father sent him: 
concerning the power of his works and the mysteries he uttered in the world, even 
the nature of this power: concerning his new preaching and his abasement and 
humiliation, even how he humbled himself and died and debased his divinity and 
was crucified and went down to Hades and burst asunder the bars which had not 

been severed from all eternity, and raised the dead, descending alone but rising 
with many to his Father”). ) 


longer came as a surprise. It was the reverse of a surprise. 
What they had vaguely divined, seemed now to be firmly and 
gloriously realized. At the same time, as “Jesus and the 
Resurrection ” were taken for new demons in Athens (according 
to Acts xvii. 18), and considered to be utterly strange, this 
doctrine must have been regarded at first as paradoxical where- 
ever it was preached. This, however, is not a question into 
which we have here to enter. What is certain is, that “ the one 
living God, as creator,” “ Jesus the Saviour,” ! “the Resurrection” 
(ἡ ἀνάστασις), and ascetic “self-control” (ἡ éyxpateia) formed 
the most conspicuous articles of the new propaganda. Along 
with this the story of Jesus must have been briefly communicated 
(in the statements of Christology), the resurrection was generally 
defined as the resurrection of the flesh, and self-control primarily 
identified with sexual purity, and then extended to include 
renunciation of the world and mortification of the flesh.” 

1 One of the distinctive ideas in Christianity was the paradox that the Saviour 
was also the Judge, an idea which gave it a special pre-eminence over other 
religions. —‘‘ Father and Son,” or ‘‘ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”: the dual 
and the triple formula interchange, but the former is rather older, though both 
can be traced as far back as Paul. Personally I should doubt if it was he who 
stamped the latter formula. Like the ‘‘ Church,” ‘‘the new People,” ‘the true 
Israel,” ‘‘ apostles, prophets, and teachers,” ‘‘ regeneration,” etc., it was probably 
created by the primitive circle of disciples. —The preaching of Jesus was combined 
with the confession of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and with the church, the 
forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the body. The Roman symbol is our 
earliest witness to this combination, and it was probably the earliest actual 
witness ; it hardly arose out of the work of missions, in the narrower sense of the 
term, but out of the earlier catechetical method. 

2 Hermas, Mand., i. (πρῶτον πάντων πίστευσον, ὅτι εἷς ἐστὶν ὁ θεὸς ὁ τὰ πάντα 
κτίσας καὶ καταρτίσας, κ-τ.λ. : ‘* First of all, believe that God is one, even he who 
created and ordered all things,” etc.), is a particularly decisive passage as regards 

the first point (viz., the ove living God); see Praedic. Petri in Clem., Strom., v. 

6. 48, vi. 5. 39, vi. 6. 48 (the twelve disciples despatched by Jesus with the charge 
to preach to all the inhabitants of the world, that they may know God is one: 
εὐαγγελίσασθαι τοὺς κατὰ Thy οἰκουμένην ἀνθρώπους γινώσκειν, ὅτι εἷς θεός ἐστιν). 
In Chap. II. of his Afology, Aristides sets forth the preaching of Jesus Christ ; 
but when he has to summarize Christianity, he is contented to say that ‘‘ Christians 
are those who have found the ove true God.” Cp., ¢.g., Chap. XV.: ‘‘Christians 
. .. . have found the truth..... They know and trust in God, the creator of 
heaven and earth, through whom and from whom are all things, beside whom 

there is none other, and from whom they have received commandments which are 

written on their hearts and kept in the faith and expectation of the world to 
come,” (Cp. also the Apology of pseudo-Melito.) The other three points are 


The most overwhelming element in the new preaching was 
the resurrection of the flesh, the complete “restitutio in in- 
tegrum,” and the kingdom of glory. Creation and resurrection 
were the beginning and the end of the new doctrine. The hope 
of resurrection which it aroused gave rise to a fresh estimate of 
the individual’s value, and at the same time to quite inferior 
and sensuous desires. Faith in the resurrection of the body and 
in the millennium soon appeared to pagans to be the distinguish- 
ing feature of this silly religion. And the pagans were right. It 
was the distinguishing feature of Christianity at this period. 
Justin explains that all orthodox Christians held this doctrine 
and this hope. “ Fiducia christianorum resurrectio mortuorum, 
illa credentes sumus,” Tertullian writes (de Resurr., i.), adding 
(in ch. xxi.) that this must not be taken allegorically, as the 
heretics allege, since “ verisimile non est, ut ea species sacramenti, 
in quam fides tota committitur, in quam disciplina tota conititur, 
ambigue annuntiata et obscura proposita videatur” (the gospel 

is too important to be stated ambiguously; see further what 

follows). 'The earliest essays of a technical character by the 
teachers of the Catholic church were upon the resurrection of 
the flesh. It was a hope, too, which gave vent to the ardent 
desires of the oppressed, the poor, the slaves, and the disappointed 
upon earth: “‘ We want to serve no longer, our wish is to reign 
soon” (Tert., de Orat., v.). ‘* Though the times of this hope have 
been determined by the sacred pen, lest it should be fixed 
previous, I think, to the return of Christ, yet our prayers pant 
for the close of this age, for the passing of this world to the 
great day of the Lord, for the day of wrath and retribution ” 
(Cum et tempora totius spei fida sunt sacrosancto stilo, ne liceat 
eam ante constitui quam in adventum, opinor, Christi, vota 
laid down with especial clearness in the Acta Theclae, where Paul is said (i. 5) to 
have handed down πάντα τὰ λόγια κυρίου kal τῆς γεννήσεως καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως 
τοῦ ἠγαπημένου (““ 811 the sayings of the Lord and of the birth and resurrection of 
the Beloved”), and where the contents of his preaching are described as λόγος 
θεοῦ περὶ ἐγκρατείας καὶ ἀναστάσεως (‘‘the word of God upon self-control and the 
resurrection”). The last-named pair of ideas are to be taken as mutually supple- 
mentary ; the resurrection or eternal life is certain, but it is conditioned by éyxpd- 
τεια, which is therefore put first. Cp., for example, Vita Polycarpi, 14: ἔλεγεν 

τὴν ἁγνείαν πρόδρομον εἶναι THs μελλούσης ἀφθάρτου βασιλείας (‘he said that purity 
was the precursor of the incorruptible kingdom to come”). 

a da a i re ac ala ya ae τὸν 


nostra suspirant in saeculi huius occasum, in transitum mundi 
quoque ad diem domini magnum, diem irae et retributionis.— 
Tert., de Resurr., xxii.). ‘ May grace come and this world pass 
away! The Lord comes!” is the prayer of Christians at the 
Lord’s Supper (Did., x.). In many circles this mood lasted even 
after the beginning of the third century, but it reached its 
height during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 

From the outset “ wisdom,” “ intelligence,” “ εὐα μονάχο ν 
and “intellect” had a very wide scope. Indeed, there was 
hardly a mission propaganda of any volume which did not over- 
flow into the “ gnostic ” spirit, 2.¢., the spirit of Greek philosophy. 
The play of imagination was at once unfettered and urged to its 
highest flights by the settled conviction (for we need not notice 
here the circles where a different view prevailed) that Jesus, the 
Saviour, had come down from heaven. It was, after all, jejune 
to be informed, “‘ We are the offspring of God” (Acts xvii. 28) ; 
but to be told that God became man and was incarnate in order 
that men might be divine—this was the apex and climax of all 
knowledge. It was bound up with the speculative idea (i) that, 
as the incarnation was a cosmic and divine event, it must there- 
fore involve a reviving and heightened significance for the whole 
creation ; and (ii) that the soul of man, hitherto divided from its 
primal source in God by forces and barriers of various degrees, 
now found the way open for its return to God, while every one 
of those very forces which had formerly barred the path was also 
liberated and transformed into a step and intermediate stage on 
the way back. Speculations upon God, the world, and the soul 
were inevitable, and they extended to the nature of the church. 
Here, too, the earthly and historical was raised to the level of 
the cosmic and transcendental. 

At first the contrast between a “sound” gnosis and a heretical 
only emerged by degrees in the propaganda, although from the 
very outset it was felt that certain speculations seemed to im- 

1 Origen (de Princ. 11, xi, 2) has described in great detail the views of the 
chiliasts, whom he opposed as, even in his day, a retrograde party. His description 
proves that we cannot attribute too sensuous opinions to them, They actually 
reckoned upon ‘‘nuptiarum conventiones et filiorum procreationes.” Compare 

the words of Irenzus in the fifth book of his large work upon the millennium, 
where he follows ‘‘ apostolic tradition” and attaches himself to Papias, 


peril the preaching of the gospel itself! The extravagances of 
the “gnosis” which penetrated all the syncretistic religion of 
the age, and issued in dualism and docetism, were corrected 
primarily by a “sound” gnosis, then by the doctrine of Christian 
freedom, by a sober, rational theology and ethics, by the realism 
of the saving facts in the history of Jesus, by the doctrine of 
the resurrection of the body, but ultimately and most effectively 
by the church prohibiting all “innovations” and fixing her 
tradition. From this standpoint Origen’s definition of gospel 
preaching (Hom. in Joh., xxxii. 9) is extremely instructive. 
After quoting Hermas, Mand., i. (the one God, the Creator), 
he adds: “It is also necessary to believe that Jesus Christ is 
Lord, and to believe all the truth concerning his deity and 
humanity, also to believe in the Holy Spirit, and that as free 
agents we are punished for our sins and rewarded for our good 

By the second century Christianity was being preached in 

very different ways. ‘The evangelists of the Catholic church 

preached in one way throughout the East, and in another 
throughout the West, though their fundamental position was 
identical ; the Gnostics and Marcionites, again, preached in yet 
another way. Still Tertullian was probably not altogether 
wrong in saying that missions to the heathen were not actively 
promoted by the latter; the Gnostics and the Marcionites, as a 
rule, confined their operations to those who were already 
Christians, After the gnostic controversy, the anti-gnostic 
rule of faith gradually became the one basis of the church’s 
preaching. The ethical and impetuous element retreated behind 

1 One of the most remarkable and suggestive phenomena of the time is the fact 
that wherever a ‘‘ dangerous ” speculation sprang up, it was combated in such a way 
that part of it was taken over. For example, contrast Ephesians and Colossians 
with the ‘‘ heresies” which had emerged in Phrygia (at Colosse) ; think of the 
‘“‘ heresies” opposed by the Johannine writings, and then consider the gnostic 
contents of the latter; compare the theology of Ignatius with the ‘‘ heresies 
attacked in the Ignatian epistles; think of the great gnostic systems of the second 
century, and then read their opponent Irenzeus. ‘‘ Vincendi vincentibus legem 
dederunt”! Such was the power of these Hellenistic, syncretistic ideas! It 
looks almost as if there had been a sort of disinfectant process, the ‘‘ sound ” 
doctrine being inoculated with a strong dilution of heresy, and thus made proof 
against virulent infection. 

— eo ὦὼ Ὅλ ee τ: , ὦ 


the dogmatic, although the emphasis upon self-control and 
asceticism never lost its vogue. 

At the transition from the second to the third century, the- 
ology had extended widely, but the mission-preaching had then 
as ever to remain comparatively limited. For the “idiote™” it 
was enough, and more than enough, to hold the four points 
which we have already mentioned. Scenes like those described 
in Acts (viii. 26-38) were constantly being repeated, mutates 
mutandis, especially during the days of persecution, when indi- 
vidual Christians suffered martyrdom joyfully ; and _ this, 
althéugh an orthodox doctrine of considerable range was in 
existence, which (in theory, at any rate) was essential. For 
many the sum of knowledge amounted to nothing more than 
the confession of the one God, who created the world, of Jesus 
the Lord, of the judgment, and of the resurrection; on the 
other hand, some of the chief arguments in the proof from 
prophecy, which played so prominent a part in all preaching to 
Jews and pagans (see Chapter VIII.), were disseminated far and 
wide; and as the apologists are always pointing in triumph to 
the fact that “among us,” “ tradesmen, slaves, and old women 
know how to give some account of God, and do not believe 
without evidence,”! the principles of the Christian conception 

1 Together with the main articles in the proof from prophecy (2,6., a dozen 
passages or so from the Old Testament), the corresponding parts of the history of 
Jesus were best known and most familiar. An inevitable result of being viewed 
in this light and along this line was that the history of Jesus (apart from the 
crucifixion) represents almost entirely legendary materials (or ideal history) to a 
severely historical judgment, Probably no passage made so deep an impression 
as the birth-narratives in Matthew and especially in Luke. The fact that the 
story of the resurrection did not Ζ72 z¢s detaz/s prove a similar success, was due to 
a diversity of the narratives in the authoritative scriptures, which was so serious 
that the very exegetes of the period (and they were capable of almost anything !) 
failed to give any coherent or impressive account of what transpired. Hence the 
separate narratives in the gospels relating to the resurrection did not possess the 
same importance as the birth-narratives, ‘‘ Raised on the third day from the 
dead, according to the scripture”: this brief confession was all that rivalled the 
popularity of Luke i,-ii. and the story of the wise men from the East.—The 
notion that the apostles themselves compiled a quintessence of Christian doctrine 
was widely current ; but the greatest difference of opinion prevailed as to what the 
quintessence consisted of. The Didaché marks the beginning of a series of com- 
positions which were supposed to have been written by the apostles collectively, 
or to contain an authoritative summary of their regulations. 




of God must have been familiar to a very large number of 


These four points, then—the one living God, Jesus our 
Saviour and Judge, the resurrection of the flesh, and self-control 
—combined to form the new religion. It stood out in bold 
relief from the old religions, and above all from the Jewish ; 
yet in spite of its hard struggle with polytheism, it was organic- 
ally related to the process of evolution which was at work 
throughout all religion, upon the eastern and the central coasts 
of the Mediterranean. The atmosphere from which those four 
principles drew their vitality was the conception of recompettse— 
2.€., the absolute supremacy of the moral element in life on the one 
hand, and the redeeming cross of Christ upon the other. No 
account of the principles underlying the mission-preaching of 
Christianity is accurate, if it does not view everything from the 


standpoint of this conception: the sovereignty of morality, and — 

the assurance of redemption by the forgiveness of sins, based on 
the cross of Christ... “ Grace,” 2.6.9. forgiveness, did play a lead- 
ing role, but grace never displaced recompense. From the very 
first, morality was inculcated within the Christian churches in 
two ways: by the Spirit of Christ and by the conception of 
judgment and of recompense. Yet both were marked by a 
decided bent to the future, for the Christ of both was “he who 
was to return.” ΤῸ the mind of primitive Christianity the 
“present” and the “future” were sharply opposed to each 

1 Redemption by the forgiveness of sins was, strictly speaking, considered to 
take place once and for all. The effects of Christ’s death were conferred on the 
individual at baptism, and all his previous sins were blotted out. Many teachers, 
like Paul, presented the cross of Christ as the content of Christianity, Thus 
Tertullian (de Carne, v.), protesting against the docetism of Marcion, which im- 
paired the death of Christ upon the cross, calls out, ‘‘O spare the one hope of 
the whole world” (parce unice spet totius orbts). The cross exerts a protective 
and defensive influence over the baptized (against demons), but it does not bestow 
any redeeming deliverance from sin, Speculations on the latter point do not arise 
till later, As a mystery, of course, it is inexhaustible, and therefore it is im- 
possible to state its influence, Pseudo-Barnabas and Justin are already mysta- 
gogues of the cross; cp. Zp. Barn., xi.-xii,, and Justin’s Afo/., I. lv., where he 
triumphantly claims that ‘‘the wicked demons never imitated the crucifixion, not 
even in the case of any of the so-called sons of Zeus” (οὐδαμοῦ οὐδ᾽ ἐπί τινος τῶν 
λεγομένων tidy τοῦ Διὸς τὸ σταυρωθῆναι ἐμιμήσαντο). Cp, further Minucius, 
Octav. xxix. ; Tert., ad, Nat, I, xii, etc, | 


other,! and it was this opposition which furnished the principle of 
self-control with its most powerful motive. It became, indeed, 
with many people a sort of glowing passion. The church which 
prayed at every service, ‘“‘ May grace come and this world pass 
away: maranatha,” was the church which gave directions like 
those which we read in the opening parable of Hermas.? “ From 

* Cp. 2 Clem., ad Cor, vi.: ἔστιν οὗτος ὁ αἰὼν καὶ 6 μέλλων δύο ἐχθροί. οὗτος 
λέγει μοιχείαν καὶ φθορὰν καὶ φιλαργυρίαν καὶ ἀπάτην, ἐκεῖνος δὲ τούτοις ἀποτάσ- 
σεται. οὐ δυνάμεθα οὖν τῶν δύο φίλοι εἶναι. δεῖ δὲ ἡμᾶς τούτῳ ἀποταξαμένους 

ἐκείνῳ χρᾶσθαι. οἰόμεθα ὅτι βέλτιόν ἐστιν τὰ ἐνθάδε μισῆσαι, ὅτι μικρὰ καὶ 
ὀλιγοχρόνια καὶ φθαρτά" ἐκεῖνα δὲ ἀγαπῆσαι, τὰ ἀγαθὰ τὰ ἄφθαρτα (*‘ This age 

and the future age are two enemies. The one speaks of adultery, corruption, 

avarice, and deceit ; the other bids farewell to these. We cannot, therefore, be 
friends of both ; we must part with the one and embrace the other. We judge 
it better to hate the things which are here, because they are small and transient 

~ and corruptible, and to love the things that are yonder, for they are good and 

incorruptible ’’). 

2 Here is the passage; it will serve to represent a large class. ‘‘ You know 
that you servants of God dwell in a foreign land, for your city is far from this city. 
If, then, you know the city where you are to dwell, why provide yourselves here 
with fields and expensive luxuries and buildings and chambers to no purpose? 
He who makes such provision for this city has no mind to return to his own city. 
Foolish, double-minded, wretched man! seest thou not that all these things are 
foreign to thee and controlled by another? For the lord of this city shall say, ‘I 
will not have thee in my city; leave this city, for thou keepest not my laws.’ 
Then, O possessor of fields and dwellings and much property besides, what wilt 
thou do with field, and house, and all thine other gains, when thou art expelled 
by him? For the lord of this land has a right to tell thee, ‘Keep my laws, or 
leave my land.’ What then shalt thou do, thou who hast already a law over thee 
in thine own city? For the sake of thy fields and other possessions wilt thou utterly 
repudiate ¢hy law and follow the law of this city? Beware! It may be unwise for 
thee to repudiate thy law. For shouldst thou wish to return once more to thy city, 
thou shalt not be allowed in: thou shalt be shut out, because thou didst repudiate 
its law. So beware. Dwelling in a foreign land, provide thyself with nothing 
more than a suitable competency ; and whenever the master of this city expels 
thee for opposing his law, be ready to leave his city and seek thine own, keeping 
thine own law cheerfully and unmolested. So beware, you that serve God and 
have him in your heart ; perform his works, mindful of his commandments and of 
the promises he has made, in the faith that he will perform the latter if the former 
be observed. Instead of fields, then, buy souls in trouble, as each of you is able ; 
visit widows and orphans, and neglect them not; expend on such fields and 
houses, which God has given to you [z.¢., on the poor], your wealth and all your 
pains. The Master endowed you with riches that you might perform such 
ministries for him, Far better is it to buy fields, possessions, houses of this kind ; 
thou wilt find them in thine own city when thou dost visit it. Such expenditure 
is noble and cheerful ; it brings joy, not fear and sorrow. Practise not the ex- 
penditure of pagans, then: that ill becomes you, as God’s servants, Practise 
your proper expenditure, in which you may rejoice. Do not stamp things falsely ; 

VOL. 1, 


the lips of all Christians this word is to be heard: The world is 
crucified to me, and I to the world” (Celsus, cited by Origen, 
V. lxiv.).} 

This resolute renunciation of the world was really the first 
thing which made the church competent and strong to tell upon 
the world. Then, if ever, was the saying true: “‘ He who would 
do anything for the world must have nothing to do with it.” 
Primitive Christianity has been upbraided for being too un- 
worldly and ascetic. But revolutions are not effected with rose- 
water, and it was a veritable revolution to overthrow polytheism 
and establish the majesty of God and goodness in the world— 
for those who believed in them, and also for those who did not. 
This could never have happened, in the first instance, had not men 
asserted the vanity of the present world, and practically severed 
themselves from it. The rigour of this attitude, however, 
hardly checked the mission-preaching; on the contrary, it 
intensified it, since instead of being isolated it was set side by 
side with the message of the Saviour and of salvation, of love 
and charity. And we must add, that for all its trenchant forms 
and the strong bias it imparted to the minds of men towards 
the future, the idea of recompense was saved from harshness and 

never touch other people’s property, nor lust after it, for it is evil to lust after what 
belongs to other people. Do thine own task and thou shalt be saved.” For all 
the rigour of his counsel, however, it never occurs to Hermas that the distinction 
of rich and poor should actually cease within the church. This is plain, if further 
proof be needed, from the next parable. The progress of thought upon this 
question in the church is indicated by the tractate of Clement of Alexandria en- 
titled ‘‘ Quis dives salvetur?” Moreover, the saying already put into the lips of 
Jesus in John xii, 8 (‘‘ the poor ye have always with you”), a saying which was 
hardly inserted without some purpose, shows that the abolition of the distinction 
between rich and poor was never contemplated in the church. 

1 The pessimistic attitude of the primitive Christians towards the world cannot be 
too strongly emphasised. (Marcion called his fellow-confessors συνταλαίπωροι καὶ 
συμμισούμενοι, ‘* partners in the suffering of wretchedness and of hatred,”—Tert., 
adv. Marc. iv. 9). This is confirmed by the evidence even of Tertullian, and of 
Origen himself. Let one instance suffice. In Hom. 8 ad, Levit., t. ix. pp. 316 f., 
Origen remarks that in the Scriptures only worldly men, like Pharaoh and Herod, 
celebrate their birthdays, whereas ‘‘ the saints not only abstain from holding a 
feast on their birthdays, but, being filled with the Holy Spirit, curse that day” 
(Sancti non solum non agunt festivitatem in die natali suo, sed a spiritu sancto 
repleti exsecrantur hunc diem). The true birthday of Christians is the day of their 
death. Origen recalls Job, in this connection ; but the form which his pessimism 
assumes is bound up, of course, with special speculative ideas of his own. 


inertia by its juxtaposition with a feeling of perfect confidence 
that God was present, and a conviction of his care and of his 
providence. No mode of thought was more alien to early Christi- 
anity than what we call deism. The early Christians knew the 
Father in heaven; they knew that God was near them and 
guiding them; the more thoughtful were conscious that he 
reigned in their life with a might of his own. This was the 
God they proclaimed. And thus, in their preaching, the future 
became already present; hard and. fast recompense seemed to 
disappear entirely, for what further “recompense” was needed 
by people who were living in God’s presence, conscious in every 
faculty of the soul, aye, and in every sense of the wisdom, power, 
and goodness of their God? Moods of assured possession and 
of yearning, experiences of grace and phases of impassioned hope, 
came and went in many a man besides the apostle Paul. He 
yearned for the prospect of release from the body, and thus felt 
a touching sympathy for everything in bondage, for the whole 
creation in its groans. But it was no harassing or uncertain 
hope that engrossed all his heart and being; it was hope fixed 
upon a strong and secure basis in his filial relationship to God 
and his possession of God’s Spirit. 

It is hardly necessary to point out that, by proclaiming re- 
pentance and strict morals on the one hand, and offering the 
removal of sins and redemption on the other hand, the Christian 
propaganda involved an inner cleavage which individual 
Christians must have realized in very different ways. If this 
removal of sins and redemption was bound up with the sacra- 
ment or specifically with the sacrament of baptism, then it came 
to this, that thousands were eager for this sacrament and nothing 
more, satisfied with belief in its immediate and magical efficacy, 
and devoid of any serious attention to the moral law. Upon 
the other hand, the moral demand could weigh so heavily on 

1 It was only in rare cases that the image of Christ’s person as a whole produced 
what may be termed a ‘‘ Christ-emotion,” which moved people to give articulate 
expression to their experiences. Ignatius is really the only man we can name 
alongside of Paul and John. Yet in how many cases of which we know nothing, 
this image of Christ must have been the dominating power of human life! In 
some of the dying confessions of the martyrs, and in the learned homilies of Origen, 
it emerges in a very affecting way. 


the conscience that redemption came to be no more than the ~ 
reward and prize of a holy life. Between these two extremes a _ 
variety of standpoints was possible. The propaganda of the 
church made a sincere effort to assign equal weight to both 
elements of its message; but sacraments are generally more 
welcome than moral counsels, and that age was particularly 
afflicted with the sacramental mania. It added to the mysteries — 
the requisite quality of naiveté, and at the same time the equally 
requisite note of subtlety. 




Tue gospel, as preached by Jesus, is a religion of redemption, 
but it is a religion of redemption in a secret sense. Jesus 
proclaimed a new message (the near approach of God’s kingdom, 
God as the Father, as his Father), and also a new law, but he 
did his work as a Saviour or healer, and it was amid work of 
this kind that he was crucified. Paul, too, preached the gospel 
as a religion of redemption. 

Jesus appeared among his people as a physician. “The 
healthy need not a physician, but the sick” (Mark ii. 17, Luke 
v. 31). The first three gospels depict him as the physician of 
soul and body, as the Saviour or healer of men. Jesus says 
very little about sickness; he cures it. He does not explain 
that sickness is health; he calls it by its proper name, and is 
sorry for the sick person. There is nothing sentimental or 
subtle about Jesus; he draws no fine distinctions, he utters no 
sophistries about healthy people being really sick and _ sick 
people really healthy. He sees himself surrounded by crowds 
of sick folk ; he attracts them, and his one impulse is to help 
them. Jesus does not distinguish rigidly between sicknesses of 
the body and of the soul; he takes them both as different ex- 
pressions of the one supreme ailment in humanity. But he knows 
their sources. He knows it is easier to say, “Rise up and 
walk,” than to say, “Thy sins are forgiven thee” (Mark ii. 9).? 

1 This chapter is based on a fresh revision of Section VI. in my study on 
** Medicinisches aus der altesten Kirchengeschichte” (Zexte und Unters., VIII., 

2 Si are we to interpret the passage in another way? Is it easier to say, ‘‘ Thy 

sins are forgiven thee”? In that case, ‘‘ easier” evidently must be taken in a 

different sense. 


And he acts accordingly. No sickness of the soul repels 
him—he is constantly surrounded by sinful women and tax- 
gatherers. Nor is any bodily disease too loathsome for Jesus. 
In this world of wailing, misery, filth, and profligacy, which 
pressed upon him every day, he kept himself invariably vital, 
pure, and busy. 

In this way he won men and women to be his disciples. The 
circle by which he was surrounded was a circle of people who 
had been healed. They were healed because they had believed 
on him, ὁ.6., because they had gained health from his character 
and words. ΤῸ know God meant a sound soul. This was the 
rock on which Jesus had rescued them from the shipwreck of 
their life. They knew they were healed, just because they had 
recognized God as the Father in his Son. Henceforth they 
drew health and real life as from a never-failing stream. 

“ Ye will say unto me this parable: Physician, heal thyself” 
(Luke iv. 23). He who helped so many people, seemed himself 

1 An old legend of Edessa regarding Jesus is connected with his activity as a 
healer of men. At the close of the third century the people of Edessa, who had 
become Christians during the second half of the second century, traced back their 
faith to the apostolic age, and treasured up an alleged correspondence between 
Jesus and their king Abgar. This correspondence is still extant (cp. Euseb., 
“7. Ε., i, 13). It isa naive romance. The king, who is severely ill, writes thus : 
“* Abgar, toparch of Edessa, to Jesus the excellent Saviour, who has appeared in 
the country of Jerusalem ; greeting. I have heard of thee and of thy cures, per- 
formed without medicine or herb. For, it is said, thou makest the blind to see, 
and the lame to walk; thou cleansest lepers, thou expellest unclean spirits and 
demons, thou healest those afflicted with lingering diseases, and thou raisest the 
dead. Now, as I have heard all this about thee, I have concluded that one of 
two things must be true: either thou art God, and, having descended from 
heaven, doest these things, or else thou art a son of God by what thou doest, I 
write to thee, therefore, to ask thee to come and cure the disease from which I am 
suffering. For I have heard that the Jews murmur against thee, and devise evil 
against thee. Now, I have a very small, yet excellent city, which is large enough 
for both of us.” To which Jesus answered: ‘‘ Blessed art thou for having 
believed in me without seeing me. For it is written concerning me that those 
who have seen me will not believe in me, while they who have not seen me will 
believe and be saved. But as to thy request that I should come to thee, I must 
fulfil here all things for which I have been sent, and, after fulfilling them, be 
taken up again to him who sent me. Yet after I am taken up, I will send thee 
one of my disciples to cure thy disease and give life to thee and thine.” The 
narrative then goes on to describe how Thaddaeus came to Edessa and cured the 
king by the laying on of hands, without medicine or herbs, after he had confessed 
his faith. ‘‘ And Abdus, the son of Abdus, was also cured by him of gout.” 


a er “- 


to be always helpless. Harassed, calumniated, threatened with 
death by the authorities of his nation, and persecuted in the 
name of the very God whom he proclaimed, Jesus went to his 
cross. But even the cross only displayed for the first time the 
full depth and energy of his saving power. It put the copestone 
on his mission, by showing men that the sufferings of the just 
are the saving force in human history. 

“Surely he hath borne our sickness and carried our sorrows ; 
by his stripes we are healed.”! This was the new truth that 
issued from the cross of Jesus. It flowed out, like a stream of 
fresh water, on the arid souls of men and on their dry morality. 
The morality of outward acts and regulations gave way to the 
conception of a life which was personal, pure, and divine, which 
spent itself in the service of the brethren, and gave itself up 
ungrudgingly to death. ‘This conception was the new principle 
of life. It uprooted the old life swaying to and fro between 
sin and virtue; it also planted a new life whose aim was nothing 
short of being a disciple of Christ, and whose strength was 
drawn from the life of Christ himself. The disciples went forth 
to preach the tidings of “God the Saviour,”? of that Saviour 
and physician whose person, deeds, and sufferings were man’s 
salvation. Paul was giving vent to no sudden or extravagant 
emotion, but expressing with quiet confidence what he was 
fully conscious of at every moment, when he wrote to the 
Galatians (ii. 20), “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. 
For the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of 
God, who loved me and gave up himself for me.” Conscious of 
this, the primitive Christian missionaries were ready to die 
daily. And that was just the reason why their cause did not 

In the world to which the apostles preached their new ἡ 

1 Cp. 1 Pet. ii, 24, οὗ τῷ μώλωπι αὐτοὶ ἰάθητε. 

2 Luke ii, 11, ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σωτήρ, bs ἐστιν Χριστὸς κύριος; John iv. 42, οἴδαμεν 
ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὃ σωπὴρ τοῦ κόσμου ; Tit. ii, 11, ἐπεφάνη ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ σωτήριος 
πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις ; Tit. iii, 4, ἦ χρηστότης καὶ ἣ φιλανθρωπία ἐπεφάνη τοῦ σωτῆρος 
ἡμῶν θεοῦ. ΒΥ several Christian circles, indeed, the title ““ ϑανίουτ᾽ was re- 
served for Jesus and for Jesus only, Irenzeus (I. i. 3) reproaches the Valentinian 
Ptolemzeus for never calling Jesus κύριος but only σωτήρ, and, as a matter of fact, 
in the epistle of Ptolemzeus to Flora, Jesus is termed σωτήρ exclusively. 


message, religion had not been intended originally for the sick, 
but for the sound. The Deity sought the pure and sound to 
be his worshippers. The sick and sinful, it was held, are a 
prey to the powers of darkness; let them see to the recovery of 
health by some means or another, health for soul and body—for 
until then they are not pleasing to the gods. It is interesting 
to observe how this conception is still dominant at the close of 
the second century, in Celsus, the enemy of Christendom (Orig., 

wat 'els., III. lix. f.). ‘'Those who invite people to participate 
: Gu. solemnities, make the following proclamation: ‘He 
who hath clean hands and sensible speech (is to draw near)’; or 
again, ‘ He who is pure from all stain, conscious of no sin in his 
soul, and living an honourable and just life (may approach).’ 
Such is the cry of those who promise purification from sins.1 
But let us now hear what sort of people these Christians invite. 
‘ Anyone who is a sinner,’ they say, ‘ or foolish, or simple-minded 
—in short, any unfortunate will be accepted by the kingdom of 
God.’ By ‘sinner’ is meant an unjust person, a thief, a 
burglar, a poisoner, a sacrilegious man, or a robber of corpses. 
Why, if you wanted an assembly of robbers, these are just the 
sort of people you would summon!”? Here Celsus has stated, 
as lucidly as one could desire, the cardinal difference between 
Christianity and ancient religion.® 

But, as we have already seen (Book I., Chapter III.), the 

1 The meaning is that even to mysteries connected with purification those only 
were bidden who had led upon the whole a good and a just life. 

2 Porphyry’s position is rather different. He cannot flatly set aside the saying 
of Christ about the sick, for whose sake he came into the world. But as a Greek 
he is convinced that religion is meant for intelligent, just, and inquiring people. 
Hence his statement on the point (in Mac. Magnes, iv. 10) is rather confused. . 

3 Origen makes a skilful defence of Christianity at this point. ‘‘If a Christian 
does extend his appeal to the same people as those addressed by a robber-chief, 
his aim is very different. He does so in order to bind up their wounds with his 
doctrine, in order to allay the festering sores of the soul with those remedies of 
faith which correspond to the wine and oil and other applications employed to 
give the body relief from pain” (III. lx.). ‘*‘Celsus misrepresents facts when he 
declares that we hold God was sent to sinners only. It is just as if he found fault 
with some people for saying that some kind and gracious [φιλανθρωπότατος, an 
epithet of Aisculapius] monarch had sent his physician to a city for the benefit of 
the sick people in that city. God the Word was thus sent as a physician for 
sinners, but also as a teacher of divine mysteries for those who are already pure 
and sin no more” (III. Ixi.). 


religious temper which Christianity encountered, and which 
developed and diffused itself very rapidly in the second and 
third centuries, was no longer what we should term “ ancient.” 
Here again we see that the new religion made its appearance 
“when the time was fulfilled.” The cheerful, naive spirit of 
the old religion, so far as it still survived, lay a-dying, and its 
place was occupied by fresh religious needs. Philosophy had 
set the individual free, and had discovered a human being in 
the common citizen. en. By the blending of states and nations, 
‘which coalesced to form a universal empire, cosmopolit itanism 
had now become a reality. But there was-always a 1 reverse side 
to cosmopolitanism, viz:;—individualism. The refinements of 
material civilization and mental culture made people more sensi- 
tive to the element of pain in life, and this increase of sensitive- 
ness showed itself also in the sphere of morals, wheré more than 
one Oriental religion came forward to satisfy its demand. The 
Socratic philosophy, with its fine ethical ideas, issued from the 
heights of the thinker to spread across the lowlands of the 
common people. ‘The Stoics, in particular, paid unwearied 
attention to the “health and diseases of the soul,” moulding 
their practical philosophy upon this type of thought. There 
was a real demand for purity, consolation, expiation, and healing, 
and as these could not be found elsewhere, they began to be 
sought in religion. In order to secure them, people were on the 
look-out for new sacred rites. The evidence for this change 
which passed over the religious temper lies in the writings of 
Seneca, Epictetus, and many others; but a further testimony 
of much greater weight is afforded by the revival which attended 
the cult of A’sculapius during the Imperial age.! As far back 
as 290 3.c., Ausculapius of Epidaurus had been summoned to 
Rome on the advice of the Sibylline books. He had his 
sanctuary on the island in the Tiber, and close to it, just as 
at the numerous shrines of Asclepius in Greece, there stood a 
sanatorium in which sick persons waited for the injunctions 

1 For the cult of Aisculapius, see von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf’s Zsy//os von 
Epidauros (1886), pp. 36 f., 44 f., 116 f., and Usener’s Gotternamen (1896), pp. 
147 f., 350, besides Ilberg’s study af Asetiapias 3 in Teubner’s Meuen Jahrbiichern, 
II., 1901, and the cautious article by Thrimer in Pauly-Wissowa’s Real, Encyhi. 
(II. 1642 f.). 


which the god imparted during sleep. Greek physicians followed 
the god to Rome, but it took a long time for either the god or 
the Greek doctors to become popular. The latter do not seem 
at first to have recommended themselves by their skill. ‘In 
219 5.6. the first Greek surgeon became domiciled in Rome. He 
actually received the franchise, and was presented by the State 
with a shop ‘in compito Acilio.’ But this doctor made such 
unmerciful havoc among his patients by cutting and cauterizing, 
that the name of surgeon becamea synonym for that of a butcher.”* 
Things were different under the Caesars. Though the Romans 
themselves still eschewed the art of medicine, considering it a 
kind of divination, skilled Greek doctors were in demand at Rome 
itself, and the cult of that “deus clinicus,” A%sculapius, was in 
full vogue. From Rome his cult spread over all the West, fusing 
itself here and there with the cult of Serapis or some other deity, 
and accompanied by the subordinate cult of Hygeia and Salus, 
Telesphorus and Somnus. Furthermore, the sphere of influence 
belonging to this god of healing widened steadily; he became 
“saviour” pure and simple, the god who aids in all distress, the 
“friend of man” (φιλανθρωπότατος). The more men sought 
deliverance and healing in religion, the greater grew this god’s 

1 Preller-Jordan, Rdm. Mythologie, ii. p. 243. Pliny observes: ‘‘Mox a 
saevitia secandi urendique transisse nomen in carnificem et in tedium artem 
omnesque medicos”’ (‘‘ Owing to cruelty in cutting and cauterizing, the name 
of surgeon soon passed into that of butcher, and a disgust was felt for the profession 
and for all doctors”’), 

2 The cult was really humane, and it led the physicians also to be humane. In 
a passage from the Παραγγελίαι of pseudo-Hippocrates we read: “1 charge you 
not to show yourselves inhuman, but to take the wealth or poverty (of the patient) 
into account, in certain cases even to treat them gratis” —the repute of the ἰατροὶ 
ἀνάργυροι is well known—‘‘and to consider future gratitude more than present 
fame. If, therefore, the summons for aid happens to be the case of an unknown 
or impecunious man, he is most of all to be assisted ; for wherever there is love 
to one’s neighbour, it means readiness to act” (ix. 258 Littré, iii, 321 Erm, ; a 
passage which Ilberg brought under my notice, cp. also the Berl. Phzlol. Wochen- 
schrift for March 25, 1893). How strongly the Christians themselves felt their 
affinity to humane physicians is proved by a striking instance which Ilberg quotes 
(Joc. czt., from vi. 90 Littré, ii. 123 Erm.). Eusebius writes (4. Z., x. 4. 11) that 
Jesus, “‘like some excellent physician, in order to cure the sick, examines what 
is repulsive, handles sores, and reaps pain himself from the sufferings of others.” 
This passage is literally taken from the treatise of pseudo-Hippocrates, περὶ 
φυσῶν : ὃ μὲν yap ἰητρὸς δρεῖ τε δεινά, θιγγάνει τε ἀηδέων, ἐπ’ ἀλλοτρίῃσι δὲ 
ξυμφορῇσιν ἰδίας καρποῦται λύπας. 


a re 


repute. He belonged to the old gods who held out longest against 
Christianity, and therefore he is often to be met with in the course 
of early Christian literature. The cult of Aisculapius was one 
of those which were most widely diffused throughout the second 
half of the second century, and also during the third century. 
People travelled to the famous sanatoria of the god, as they 
travel to-day to baths. He was appealed to in diseases of the 
body and of the soul; people slept in his temples, to be cured ; 
the costliest gifts were brought him as the ΘΕῸΣ ΣΩΤῊΡ 
(“God the Saviour”); and people consecrated their lives to him, 
as innumerable inscriptions and statues testify. In the case of 
other gods as well, healing virtue now became a central feature. 
Zeus himself and Apollo (cp., e.g., Tatian, Orat. viii.) appeared 
in a new light. They, too, became “saviours.” No one could 
be a god any longer, unless he was also a saviour.1. Glance over 
Origen’s great reply to Celsus, and you soon discover that one 
point hotly disputed by these two remarkable men was the 
question whether Jesus or Atsculapius was the true Saviour. 
Celsus champions the one with as much energy and credulity as 
Origen the other. The combination of crass superstition and 
sensible criticism presented by both men is an enigma to us at 
this time of day. We moderns can hardly form any clear idea of 
their mental bearings. In III. iii. Origen observes: ‘ Miracles 
occurred in all lands, or at least in many places. Celsus him- 
self admits in his book that A’sculapius healed diseases and 
revealed the future in all cities that were devoted to him, such 
as 'Tricca, Epidaurus, Cos, and Pergamum.” According to III. 
xxii. Celsus charged the Christians with being unable to make 
up their minds to call Aisculapius a god, simply because he had 
been first a man.. Origen’s retort is that the Greek tradition made 
Zeus slay Aisculapius with a thunderbolt. Celsus (III. xxiv.) 
declared it to be an authentic fact that a great number of Greeks 
and barbarians had seen, and still saw, no mere wraith of 
Aisculapius, but the god himself engaged in healing and helping 
man, whereas the disciples of Jesus had merely seen a phantom. 
Origen is very indignant at this, but his counter-assertions are 

* Corresponding to this, we have Porphyry’s definition of the object of philosophy 
as ἢ τῆς ψυχῆς σωτηρία (the salvation of the soul). 


weak. Does Celsus also appeal to the great number of Greeks 
and barbarians who believe in Afsculapius? Origen, too, can 
point to the great number of Christians, to the truth of their 
scriptures, and to their successfnl cures in the name of Jesus. 
But then he suddenly alters his defence, and proceeds (III. xxv.) 
to make the following extremely shrewd observation: “ Even 
were I going to admit that a demon named Aisculapius had the 
power of healing bodily diseases, I might still remark to those 
who are amazed at such cures or at the prophecies of Apollo, 
that such curative power is of itself neither good nor bad, but 
within reach of godless as well as of honest folk; while in the 
same way it does not follow that he who can foretell the future 
is on that account an honest and upright man. One is not in 
a position to prove the virtuous character of those who heal dis- 
eases and foretell the future. Many instances may be adduced 
of people being healed who did not deserve to live, people who were 
so corrupt and led a life of such wickedness that no sensible physi- 
cian would have troubled to cure them..... The power of 
healing diseases is no evidence of anything specially divine.” 
From all these remarks of Origen, we can see how high the cult 
of Aisculapius was ranked, and how keenly the men of that age 
were on the lookout for “ salvation.” 
goons this world of craving for salvation the preaching of 
Christianity made its way. Long before it had achieved its 
final triumph by dint of an impressive philosophy of religion, 
its success was already assured by the fact that it promised and 
offered salvation—a feature in which it surpassed all other 
\~ religions and cults. It did more than set up the actual Jesus 
against the imaginary Atsculapius of dreamland. Deliberately 
| and consciously it assumed the form of “the religion of salvation 
\ or healing,”! or “the medicine of soul and body,” and at the 
same time it recognized that one of its chief duties was to care 
_ assiduously for the sick in body. We shall now select one or 
| two examples out of the immense wealth of material, to throw 
light upon both of these points. 
Take, first of all, the theory. Christianity never lost hold 

1 The New Testament itself is so saturated with medicinal expressions, em- 
ployed metaphorically, that a collection of them would fill several pages, 

si Η 
δ νὼ... ety νὼ τότ ἐσ γι; 

ee sae 



of its innate principle; it was, and it remained, a religion for 
the sick. Accordingly it assumed that no one, or at least 
hardly any one, was in normal health, but that men were 
always in a state of disability. This reading of human nature 
was not confined to Paul, who looked on all men outside of 
Christ as dying, dying in their sins; a similar, though simpler, 
view was taught by the numerous unknown missionaries of 
primitive Christianity. The soul of man is sick, they said, a 
prey to death from the moment of his birth. The whole race 
lies a-dying. But now “the goodness and the human kindness 
of God the Saviour” have appeared to restore the sick soul.1 
Baptism was therefore conceived as a bath for regaining the 
soul’s health, or for “ the recovery of life” ;? the Lord’s Supper 
was valued as “the potion of immortality,” and penitence was 
termed “vera de satisfactione medicina” (the true medicine 
derived from the atonement, Cypr., de Lapsis, xv.). At the 
celebration of the sacrament, thanks were offered for the “life” 
therein bestowed (Did., ix.-x.). The conception of “life” 
acquired a new and deeper meaning. Jesus had already spoken 
of a “life” beyond the reach of death, to be obtained by the 
sacrifice of a man’s earthly life. ‘The idea and the term were 
taken up by Paul and by the fourth evangelist, who summed 
up in them the entire blessings of religion. With the tidings 
of immortality, the new religion confronted sorrow, misery, sin, 
and death. So much, at least, the world of paganism could 
understand. It could understand the promise of bliss and 
immortality resembling that of the blessed gods. And not a 
few pagans understood the justice of the accompanying con- 
dition, that one had to submit to the régime of the religion, 
that the soul had to be pure and holy before it could become 
immortal. ‘Thus they grasped the message of a great Physician 
who preaches “abstinence” and bestows the gift of “life.”+4 

Ὁ Tit. iii. 4: ἡ χρηστότης καὶ ἡ φιλανθρωπία ἐπέφανη τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ 
. +.» ἔσωσεν ἡμᾶς. See the New Testament allusions to σωτήρ. 

* Tert., de Baptism., i., etc., etc. ; Clement (Paedag., i. 6. 29) calls baptism 
παιώνιον φάρμακον. Tertullian describes it as ‘‘aqua medicinalis.” 

9. Ignatius, Justin, and Irenzus, 

* Clement of Alexandria opens his Paedagogus by describing his Logos as the 
physician who heals suffering (I. i. 1, τὰ πάθη 6 παραμυθικὸς λόγος ἰᾶται. He 


Anyone who had felt a single ray of the power and glory of the 
new life reckoned his previous life to have been blindness, 

distinguishes the λόγος προτρεπτικός, ὑποθετικός and παραμυθικός, to which is 
added further 6 διδακτικός. And the Logos is Christ. Gregory Thaumaturgus 
also calls the Logos a physician, in his panegyric on Origen (xvi.). In the pseudo- 
Clementine homilies, Jesus, who is the true prophet, is always the physician ; 
similarly Peter’s work everywhere is that of the great physician who, by the sole 
means of prayer and speech, heals troops of sick folk (see especially Bk. VII.), 

Simon Magus, again, is represented as the wicked magician, who evokes disease Ὁ 

wherever he goes. Origen has depicted Jesus the physician more frequently and 
fully than anyone else. One at least of his numerous passages on the subject may 
be cited (from Hom, viii., 2 Zevzt., ch. i. vol. ix. pp. 312 £): ‘* Medicum dici in 
scripturis divinis dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, etiam ipsius domini sententia 
perdocemur, sicut dicit in evangeliis [here follows Matt. ix. 12 f.]. Omnis autem 
medicus ex herbarum succis vel arborum vel etiam metallorum venis vel animan- 
tium naturis profectura corporibus medicamenta componit. Sed herbas istas si 
quis forte, antequam pro ratione artis componantur, adspiciat, si quidem in agris 
aut montibus, velut foenum vile conculcat et praeterit. Si vero eas intra medici 
scholam dispositas per ordinem viderit, licet odorem tristem, fortem et austerum 
reddant, tamen suspicabitur eas curae vel remedii aliquid continere, etiamsi nondum 
quae vel qualis sit sanitatis ac remedii virtus agnoverit. Haec de communibus 
medicis diximus. Veni nunc ad Jesum coelestem medicum, intra ad hanc 
stationem medicinae eius ecclesiam, vide ibi languentium iacere multitudinem. 
Venit mulier, quae et partu immunda effecta est, venit leprosus, qui extra castra 
separatus est pro immunditia leprae, quaerunt a medico remedium, quomodo 
sanentur, quomodo mundentur, et quia Jesus hic, qui medicus est, ipse est et 
verbum dei, aegris suis non herbarum succis, sed verborum sacramentis medica- 
menta conquirit. Quae verborum medicamenta si quis incultius per libros tamquam 
per agros videat esse dispersa, ignorans singulorum dictorum virtutem, ut vilia 
haec et nullum sermonis cultum habentia praeteribit. Qui sero ex aliqua parte 
didicerit animarum apud Christum esse medicinam, intelliget profecto ex hic 
libris, qui in ecclesiis recitantur, tamquam ex agris et montibus, salutares herbas 
adsumere unumquemque debere, sermonum dumtaxat vim, ut si quis illi est in 
anima languor, non tam exterioris frondis et corticis, quam succi interioris hausta 
virtute sanetur”’ (‘The Lord himself teaches us, in the gospels, that our Lord 
Jesus Christ is called a physician in the Holy Scriptures. Every physician com- 
pounds his medicines for the good of the body from the juices of herbs or trees, or 
even from the veins of metals or living creatures. Now, supposing that anyone 
sees these herbs in their natural state, ere they are prepared by skill of art, he 
treads on them like common straw and passes by them, on mountain or field. 
But if he chances to see them arranged in the laboratory of a herbalist or 
physician, he will suspect that, for all their bitter and heavy and unpleasant 
odours, they have some healing and healthful virtue, though as yet he does not 
know the nature or the quality of this curative element. So much for our 
ordinary physicians. Now look at Jesus the heavenly physician. Come inside 
his room of healing, the church. Look at the multitude of impotent folk lying 
there. Here comes a woman unclean from childbirth, a leper expelled from the 
camp owing to his unclean disease ; they ask the physician for aid, for a cure, 
for cleansing ; and because this Jesus the physician is also the Word of God, he 

ἡ .“ὩΦὩὩΦ0Ε 


disease, and death'—a view attested by both the apostolic 
fathers and the apologists. ‘ He bestowed on us the light, he 
spoke to us as a father to his sons, he saved us in our lost 
estate. . . . . Blind were we in our understanding, worshipping 
stones and wood and gold and silver and brass, nor was our 
whole life aught but death.”* The mortal will put on, nay, 
has already put on, immortality, the perishable will be robed 
in the imperishable: such was the glad cry of the early 
Christians, who took up arms against a sea of troubles, and 
turned the terror of life’s last moment intoa triumph. ‘Those 
miserable people,” says Lucian in the Proteus Peregrinus, “ have 
got it into their heads that they are perfectly immortal.” He 
would certainly have made a jest upon it had any occurred 
to his mind; but whenever this nimble scoffer is depicting the 
faith of Christians, there is a remarkable absence of anything 
like jesting. 

While the soul’s health or the new life is a gift, however, it 
is a gift which must be appropriated from within. There was 
a great risk of this truth being overlooked by those who were 
accustomed to leave any one of the mysteries with the sense of 

applies, not the juices of herbs, but the sacraments of the Word to their diseases, 
Anyone who looked at these remedies casually as they lay in books, like herbs in 
the field, ignorant of the power of single words, would pass them by as common 
things without any grace ofstyle. But he who ultimately discovers that Christ has 
a medicine for souls, will find from these books which are read in the churches, as 
he finds from mountains and fields, that each yields healing herbs, at least strength 
won from words, so that any weakness of soul is healed not so much by leaf and 
bark as by an inward virtue and juice”). 

1 That the vices were diseases was a theme treated by Christian teachers as 
often as by the Stoics. Cp.,¢.9., Origen, in Ep. ad Rom., Bk. 11. (Lommatzsch, 
vi, 91 f.): ‘‘ Languores quidem animae ab apostolo in his (Rom, ii, 8) designantur, 
quorum medelam nullus inveniet nisi prius morborum cognoverit causas et ideo 
in divinis scripturis aegritudines animae numerantur et remedia describuntur, ut hi, 
qui se apostolicis subdiderint disciplinis, ex his, quae scripta sunt, agnitis langu- 
oribus suis curati possint dicere : ‘Lauda anima mea dominum, qui sanat omnes 
languores tuos’” (‘‘ The apostle here describes the diseases of the soul ; their cure 
cannot be discovered till one diagnoses first of all the causes of such troubles, and 
consequently Holy Scripture enumerates the ailments of the soul, and describes 
their remedies, in order that those who submit to the apostolic discipline may be 
able to say, after they have been cured of diseases diagnosed by aid of what is 
written : ‘ Bless the Lord, O my soul, who healeth all thy diseases ’”’). 

22 Clem., 22. ad Cor., i. Similar expressions are particularly common in 
Tatian, but indeed no apology is wholly devoid of them. 


being consecrated and of bearing with them supermundane 
blessings as if they were so many articles. It would be easy 
also to show how rapidly the sacramental system of the church 
lapsed into the spirit of the pagan mysteries. But onee the 
moral demand, i.e., the purity of the soul, was driven home, it 
proved such a powerful factor that it held its own within the 
Catholic church, even alongside of the inferior sacramental 
system. T'he salvation of the soul and the lore of that salvation 
never died away ; in fact, the ancient church arranged all the 
details of her worship and her dogma with this end in view. 
She consistently presented herself as the great infirmary or the 
hospital of humanity: pagans, sinners, and heretics are her — 
patients, ecclesiastical doctrines and observances are her 
medicines, while the bishops and pastors are the physicians, 
but only as servants of Christ, who is himself the physician of 
all souls.1 Let me give one or two instances of this. ‘As the 
good of the body is health, so the good of the soul is the 
knowledge of God,” says Justin.2 “ While we have time to be 
healed, let us put ourselves into the hands of God the healer, 
paying him a recompense. And what recompense? What 
᾿ but repentance from a sincere heart” (2 Clem., ad Cor., ix.). 
« Like some excellent physician, in order to cure the sick, Jesus 
| examines what is repulsive, handles sores, and reaps pain 

himself from the sufferings of others; he has himself saved us 
from the very jaws of death—us who were not merely diseased 
and suffering from terrible ulcers and wounds already mortified, 
but were also lying already among the dead . . . .; he who is 
the giver of life and of light, our great physician,® king and 

1 Celsus, who knew this kind of Christian preaching intimately, pronounced 
the Christians to be quacks, ‘‘The teacher of Christianity,” he declares, “‘ acts 
’ like a person who promises to restore a sick man to health and yet hinders him 
from consulting skilled physicians, so as to prevent his own ignorance from being 
exposed.” To which Origen retorts, ‘‘ And who are the physicians from whom 
we deter simple folk?” He then proceeds to show that they cannot be the 

philosophers, and still less those who are not yet emancipated from the coarse 
superstition of polytheism (IIT. Ixxiv. ). . 

2 Fragm. ix. (Otto, Corp, Afol., iii. p. 258). Cp. also the beautiful wish 
expressed at the beginning of 3 John: wep) πάντων εὔχομαι σε εὐοδοῦσθαι καὶ 
ὑγιαίνειν, καθῶς εὐοδοῦται σου ἣ ψυχή (ver. 2). 

8. Cp. Zp. ad Diogn., ix. 6, pseudo-Justin, de Resurr., χ. : “‘ Our physician, 
Jesus Christ”; Clem., Paedag., i. 2.6: ‘‘The Logos of the Father is the only 


lord, the Christ of God.”! “The physician cannot introduce 
any salutary medicines into the body that needs to be cured, 
_ without having previously eradicated the trouble seated in the 
. body or averted the approaching trouble. Even so the teacher 
of the truth cannot convince anyone by an address on truth, 
so long as some error still lurks in the soul of the hearer, 
which forms an obstacle to his arguments” (Athenagoras, de 
resurr.,i.). ‘* Were we to draw from the axiom that ‘disease 
is diagnosed by means of medical knowledge,’ the inference that 
medical knowledge is the cause of disease, we should be making 
a preposterous statement. And as it is beyond doubt that the 
knowledge of salvation is a good thing, because it teaches men 
to know their sickness, so also is the law a good thing, inasmuch 
as sin is discovered thereby.” 5 
As early as 2 Tim. ii. 17, the word of heretics is said to eat 

Paeonian physician for human infirmities, and the holy charmer (ἅγιος ἐπῳδός) 
for the sick soul” (whereupon he quotes Ps. Ixxxii. 2-3): ‘The physician’s art 
cures the diseases of the body, according to Democritus, but wisdom frees the 
soul from its passions. Yet the good instructor, the Wisdom, the Logos of the 
Father, the creator of man, cares for all our nature, healing it in body and in soul 
alike—he ὁ παναρκὴς τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος ἰατρὸς ὃ σωτήρ (the all-sufficient physician 
of humanity, the Saviour),” whereupon he quotes Mark ii, 11. See also 2όζα,, 
i, 6. 36, and i. 12. 100. ‘* Hence the Logos also is called Saviour, since he has 
devised rational medicines for men; he preserves their health, lays bare their 
defects, exposes the causes of their evil affections, strikes at the root of irrational 
lusts, prescribes their diet, and arranges every antidote to heal the sick. For this 
is the greatest and most royal work of God, the saving of mankind. Patients are 
irritated at a physician who has no advice to give on the question of their health, 
But how should we not render thanks to the divine instructor,” etc. (Paedag., 
i. 8. 64-65). 

1 Eus., #.£., v. 4. 11 (already referred to on p, 106). Cp. also the description 
of the Bible in Aphraates as ‘‘ the books of the wise Physician,” and Cypr., de Of., 
i. : ‘‘ Christ was wounded to cure us of our wounds. .... When the Lord at his 
coming had healed that wound which Adam caused,” etc. Metaphors from 
disease are on the whole very numerous in Cyprian ; cp., ¢.2., de Haditu, ii. ; de 
Unitate, iii. ; de Lapsis, xiv., xxxiv, 

2 Origen, opposing the Antinomians in Comm. in Rom., iii, 6 (Lommatzsch, 
vi. p. 195), Hom. in Jerem., xix. 3. Similarly Clem., Paedag., i. 9. 88: ‘‘ As 
the physician who tells a patient that he has fever is not an enemy to him—since 
the physician is not the cause of the fever but merely detects it (οὐκ αἴτιος, ἀλλ᾽ 
€Aeyxos)—neither is one who blames a diseased soul ill-disposed to that person.” 
Cp. Methodius (Opp. I., p. 52, Bonwetsch): ‘‘ As we do not blame a physician 
who explains how a man may become strong and well,” etc. ; see also I. 65: 
**For even those who undergo medical treatment for their bodily pains do not at 
once regain health, butjgladly bear pain in the hope of their coming recovery.” 

yor. 1, 



“like a gangrene.” This expression recurs very frequently, and 
is elaborated in detail.  “'Their talk is infectious as a plague” 
(Cyprian, de Lapsis, xxxiv.). ‘“* Heretics are hard to cure,” says 
Ignatius (ad Ephes., vii., δυσθεράπευτος) ; . . . . there is but one 
physician, Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the pastoral epistles the 
orthodox doctrine is already called “ sound teaching” as opposed 
to the errors of the heretics. 

Most frequently, however, bodily recovery is compared to 
penitence. It is Ignatius again who declares that “not every 
wound is cured by the same salve. Allay sharp pains by sooth- 
ing fomentations.”! “'The cure of evil passions,” says Clement 

at the opening of his Paedagogus, “is effected by the Logos 
through admonitions; he strengthens the soul with benign 
precepts like soothing medicines,” and directs the sick to the full 
knowledge of the truth.” “Let us follow the practice of 
physicians (in the exercise of moral discipline),” says Origen,* 
/ “and only use the knife when all other means have failed, when 
| application of oil and salves and soothing poultices leave the 
| swelling still hard.” An objection was raised by Christians who 
disliked repentance, to the effect that the public confession of 
sin which accompanied the penitential discipline was at once 
an injury to their self-respect and a misery. To which Tertullian 
replies (de Poen., x.): “Nay, it is evil that ends in misery. 
Where repentance is undertaken, misery ceases, because it is 
turned into what is salutary. It is indeed a misery to be cut, 
and cauterized, and racked by some pungent powder; but the 
excuse for the offensiveness of means of healing that may be 
unpleasant, is the cure they work.” This is exactly Cyprian’s 

1 Ad Polyc., ii. The passage is to be taken allegorically. It is addressed to 
Bishop Polycarp, who has been already (i) counselled to ‘‘ bear the maladies ofall ” ; 
wisely and gently is the bishop to treat the erring and the spiritually diseased, 
In the garb given it by Ignatius, this counsel recurs very frequently throughout’ 
the subsequent literature ; see Lightfoot’s learned note. Also Clem. Alex., 7ragm. 
(Dindorf, iii. 499): ‘‘ With ove salve shalt thou heal thyself and thy neighbour 
(who slanders thee), if thou acceptest the slander with meekness” ; Clem. Hom., 
x. 18: ‘‘The salve must not be applied to the sound member of the body, but 
to the suffering’’; and Hermes Trismeg., wep) Bor. χυλ., Ρ- 331: “‘Do not 
always use this salve,” 

2 i, I. 3, ἤπια φάρμακα (see Homer). 

3 In 1. Jesu Nave, viii. 6(Lomm., xi. 71). Cp. Hom, in Jerem,, xvi. 1. 

σπου: σ΄ 


_ point, when he writes! that “the priest of the Lord must employ \ 
_ salutary remedies.” He is an unskilled physician who handles 
_ tenderly the swollen edges of a wound and allows the poison 
_ lodged in the inward part to be aggraved by simply leaving it / 

alone. The wound must be opened and lanced; recourse must | 

be had to the strong remedy of cutting out the corrupting parts. 
Though the patient scream out in pain, and wail or weep, 
because he cannot bear it—afterwards he will be grateful, when 
he feels that he is cured.” But the most elaborate comparison 
of a bishop to a surgeon occurs in the Apostolic Constitutions 
(ii. 41). “Heal thou, O bishop, like a pitiful physician, all who 
have sinned, and employ methods that promote saving health. 
Confine not thyself to cutting or cauterizing or the use of 
corrosives, but employ bandages and lint, use mild and healing 
drugs, and sprinkle words of comfort as a soothing balm. If 

_ the wound be deep and gashed, lay a plaster on it, that it may 

fill up and be once more like the rest of the sound flesh. If it 
be dirty, cleanse it with corrosive powder, ὁ.6.. with words of 
censure. If it has proud flesh, reduce it with sharp plasters, 7.¢., 
with threats of punishment. If it spreads further, sear it, and 
cut off the putrid flesh—mortify the man with fastings. And 
if after all this treatment thou findest that no soothing poultice, 
neither oil nor bandage, can be applied from head to foot of 
the patient, but that the disease is spreading and defying all 
cures, like some gangrene that corrupts the entire member ; then, 
after great consideration and consultation with other skilled 
physicians, cut off the putrified member, lest the whole body of 
the church be corrupted. So be not hasty to cut it off, nor 
rashly resort to the saw of many a tooth, but first use the lancet 
to lay open the abscess, that the body may be kept free from pain 

| _ by the removal of the deep-seated cause of the disease. But if 
_ thou seest anyone past repentance and (inwardly) past feeling, 

1 De Lapsis, xiv. Penitence and bodily cures form a regular parallel in Cyprian’s 
writings ; cp. Zfzs¢. xxxi. 6-7, lv. 16, lix. 13, and his Roman epistle xxx. 3, 5. 7. 
Novatian, who is responsible for the latter, declares (in de 7rinz¢., v.) that God’s 
wrath acts like a medicine. 

2 Cp. pseudo-Clem., 22. ad Jac., ii. : ‘‘The president (the bishop) must hold 

_ the place of a physician (in the church), instead of behaving with the violence of 

an irrational brute.” 


then cut him off as an incurable with sorrow and lamen- 
tation.” ἢ 

It must be frankly admitted that this constant preoccupation 
with the “ diseases” of sin had results which were less favourable. 
The ordinary moral sense, no less than the zsthetic,” was deadened. 
If people are ever to be made better, they must be directed to 
that honourable activity which means moral health; whereas 
endless talk about sin and forgiveness exercises, on the contrary, 
a narcotic influence. ΤῸ say the least of it, ethical education 
must move to and fro between reflection on the past (with its 
faults and moral bondage) and the prospect of a future (with its 
goal of aspiration and the exertion of all one’s powers), The 
theologians of the Alexandrian school had some sense of the 
latter, but in depicting the perfect Christian or true gnostic 
they assigned a disproportionate space to knowledge and correct 
opinions. ‘They were not entirely emancipated from the Socratic 
fallacy that the man of knowledge will be invariably a good man. 
They certainly did surmount the “educated” man’s intellectual 
pride on the field of religion and morality.? In Origen’s treatise 
against Celsus, whole sections of great excellence are devoted to 
the duty and possibility of even the uneducated person acquir- 

1 Cp. Clem. Alex., Paedag.,i. 8. 64 f.: ‘‘ Many evil passions are cured by 
punishment or by the inculcation of sterner commands, . . . . Censure is like a 
surgical operation on the passions of the soul, The latter are abscesses on the 
body of the truth, and they must be cut open by the lancet of censure. Censure 
is like the application of a medicine which breaks up the callosities of the passions, 
and cleanses the impurities of a lewd life, reducing the swollen flesh of pride, and 
restoring the man to health and truth once more.” Cp. i. 9. 83 ; also Methodius, 
Opp. I., i. p. 115 (ed. Bonwetsch). 

2 It was at this that the Emperor Julian especially took umbrage, and not 
without reason, Asa protest against the sensuousness of paganism, there grew 
up in the church an esthetic of ugliness. Disease, death, and death’s relics— 
bones and putrefaction—were preferred to health and beauty, whilst Christianity 
sought to express her immaterial spirit in terms drawn from the unsightly remnants 
of material decay. How remote was all this artificial subtlety of an exalted piety 
from the piety which had pointed men to the beauty of the lilies in the field! 
The Christians of the third and fourth centuries actually begin to call sickness 
health, and to regard death as life. 

3. Clem. Alex., Strom., vii. 7. 48: ὡς ὃ iarpds ὑγίειαν παρέχεται τοῖς συνεργοῦσι 
πρὸς ὑγίειαν, οὕτως καὶ ὃ θεὸς τὴν ἀΐδιον σωτηρίαν τοῖς συνεργοῦσι πρὸς γνῶσίν τε 
καὶ εὐπραγίαν (*‘ Even as the physician secures health for those who co-operate 
with him to that end, so does God secure eternal salvation for those who co-operate 
with him for knowledge and good conduct”). 



ing health of soul, and to the supreme necessity of salvation 
from sin and weakness.' Origen hits the nail upon the head 
when he remarks (VII. Ix.) that “ Plato and the other wise men 
of Greece, with their fine sayings, are like the physicians who 
confine their attention to the better classes and despise the 
common man, whilst the disciples of Jesus carefully study to 
make provision for the great mass of men.”? Still, Origen’s idea 
is that, as a means of salvation, religion merely forms a stage 
for those who aspire to higher levels. His conviction is that when 
the development of religion has reached its highest level, any- 
thing historical or positive becomes of as little value as the ideal 
of redemption and salvation itself. On this level the spirit, 
filled by God, no longer needs a Saviour or any Christ of history 
at all. “Happy,” he exclaims (Comm. in Joh., i. 22; Lomm., 
i. p. 43), “ happy are they who need no longer now God’s Son 
as the physician of the sick or as the shepherd, people who now 
need not any redemption, but wisdom, reason, and righteousness 
alone.” In his treatise against Celsus (III. lxi. f.) he draws a 
sharp distinction between two aims and boons in the Christian 

1 C. Cels., III. liv.: ‘‘We cure every rational being with the medicine of our 

? In VII. lix. there is an extremely fine statement of the true prophet’s duty 
of speaking in such a way as to be intelligible and encouraging to the multitude, 
and not merely to the cultured. ‘‘ Suppose that some food which is wholesome and 
fit for human nourishment, is prepared and seasoned so delicately as to suit the palate 
of the rich and luxurious alone, and not the taste of simple folk, peasants, labourers, 
poor people, and the like, who are not accustomed to such dainties. Suppose 
again that this very food is prepared, not as epicures would have it, but to suit 
poor folk, labourers, and the vast majority of mankind. Well, ifon this supposi- 
tion the food prepared in one way is palatable to none but epicures, and left un- 
tasted by the rest, while, prepared in the other way, it ministers to the health and 
strength of a vast number, what persons shall we believe are promoting the 
general welfare most successfully—those who cater simply for the better classes, 

or those who prepare food for the multitude? If we assume that the food in both 

cases is equally wholesome and nourishing, it is surely obvious that the good of 
men and the public welfare are better served by the physician who attends to the 
health of the multitude than by him who will merely attend to a few.” And 
Origen was far removed from anything like the narrow-mindedness of orthodoxy, 
as is plain from this excellent remark in III. xiii.: ‘‘ As only he is qualified in 
medicine who has studied in various schools and attached himself to the best 
system after a careful examination of them all... . so, in my judgment, the 
most thorough knowledge of Christianity is his who has carefully investigated the 
various sects of Judaism and of Christianity.” 


religion, one higher and the other lower. “'To no mystery, to 
no participation in wisdom ‘hidden in a mystery,’ do we call 
the wicked man, the thief, the burglar, etc., but to healing or 
salvation. For our doctrine has a twofold appeal. It provides 
means of healing for the sick, as is meant by the text, ‘The 
whole need not a physician, but the sick.’ But it also unveils 
to those who are pure in soul and body ‘that mystery which 
was kept secret since the world began, but is now made manifest 
by the Scriptures of the prophets and the appearing of our Lord 
Jesus Christ.’ . . . . God the Word was indeed sent as a physi- 
cian for the sick, but also as a teacher of divine mysteries to 
those who are already pure and sin no more.”?* 

Origen unites the early Christian and the philosophic con- 
ceptions of religion. He is thus superior to the pessimistic 
fancies which seriously threatened the latter view. But only 
among the cultured could he gain any following. The Christian 
people held fast to Jesus as the Saviour. 

No one has yet been able to show that the figure of Christ 
which emerges in the fifth century, probably as early as the 
fourth, and which subsequently became the prevailing type in 
all pictorial representations, was modelled upon the figure of 
Asculapius. The two types are certainly similar; the qualities 
predicated of both are identical in part ; and no one has hitherto 
explained satisfactorily why the original image of the youthful 
Christ was displaced by the later. Nevertheless, we have no 

1 So Clem. Alex., Paed., i. 1. 3: ἴσαι οὐκ ἐστὸν ὑγίεια καὶ γνῶσις, GAA’ ἣ 
μὲν μαθήσει, ἡ δὲ ἰάσει περιγίνεται ᾿ οὐκ ἂν οὖν τις νοσῶν ἔτι πρότερόν τι τῶν 
διδασκαλικῶν ἐκμάθοι πρὶν ἢ τέλεον ὑγιᾶναι " οὐδὲ γὰρ ὠσαύτως πρὸς τοὺς 
μανθάνοντας ἢ κάμνοντας ἀεὶ τῶν παραγγελμάτων ἕκαστον λέγεται, GAAG πρὸς 
ods μὲν εἰς γνῶσιν, πρὸς ods δὲ εἰς ἴασιν. καθάπερ οὖν τοῖς νοσοῦσι τὸ σῶμα 
ἰατροῦ χρήζει, ταύτῃ καὶ τοῖς ἀσθενοῦσι τὴν ψυχὴν παιδαγωγοῦ δεῖ, ἵν᾽ ἡμῶν 
ἰάσηται τὰ πάθη, εἶτα δὲ καὶ διδασκάλου, ὃς καθηγήσεται πρὸς καθαρὰν γνώσεως 
ἐπιτηδειότητα εὐτρεπίζων τὴν ψυχήν, δυναμένην χωρῆσαι τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν τοῦ 
λόγου (‘‘ Health and knowledge are not alike; the one is produced by learning, 
the other by healing. Before a sick person, then, could learn any further 
branch of knowledge, he must get quite well. . Nor is each injunction addressed 
to learners and to patients alike; the object in one case is knowledge, and in 
the other a cure. Thus, as patients need the physician for their body, so do 
those who are sick in soul need, first of all, an instructor, to heal our pains, and 
then a teacher who shall conduct the soul to all requisite knowledge, disposing it 
to admit the revelation of the Word’”’). 


means of deriving the origin of the Callixtine Christ from 
Aisculapius as a prototype, so that in the meantime we must 
regard such a derivation as a hypothesis, which, however interest- 
ing, is based upon inadequate evidence. There would be one 
piece of positive evidence forthcoming, if the statue which passed 
for a likeness of Jesus in the city of Paneas (Czsarea Philippi) 
during the fourth century was a statue of Asculapius. Eusebius 
(H.E., vi. 18) tells how he had seen there, in the house of the 
woman whom Jesus had cured of an issue of blood, a work of 
art which she had caused to be erected out of gratitude to Jesus. 
“On a high pedestal beside the gates of her house there stands 
the brazen image of a woman kneeling down with her hands 
outstretched as if in prayer. Opposite this stands another 
brazen image of a man standing up, modestly attired in a cloak 
wrapped twice round his body, and stretching out his hand to 
the woman. At his feet, upon the pedestal itself, a strange 
plant is growing up as high as the hem of his brazen cloak, 
which is a remedy for all sorts of disease. This statue is said 
to be an image of Jesus. Nor is it strange that the Gentiles of 
that age, who had received benefit from the Lord, should 
express their gratitude in this fashion.” For various reasons it 
is unlikely that this piece of art was intended to represent Jesus, 
or that it was erected by the woman with an issue of blood ;! 
on the contrary, the probability is that the statuary was thus 
interpreted by the Christian population of Paneas, probably at 
an early period. If the statue originally represented Afsculapius, 
as the curative plant would suggest, we should have here at 
least one step between “ Aésculapius the Saviour” and “ Christ 
the Saviour.” But this interpretation of a pagan saviour or 

healer is insecure; and even were it quite secure, it would not 

justify any general conclusion being drawn as yet upon the 
matter. At any rate we are undervaluing the repugnance felt 
even by Christians of the fourth century for the gods of pagan- 
ism, if we consider ourselves entitled to think of any conscious 
transformation of the figure of Afsculapius into that of Christ.’ 

1 Cp. Hauck, die Entstehung des Christus-typus (1880), p. 8 f. 
2 In the eyes of Christians, Aisculapius was both a demon and an idol; no 
Christian could take him as a model or have any dealings with him. Some 


Hitherto we have been considering the development of 
Christianity as the religion of “ healing,” as expressed in parables, 
ideas, doctrine, and penitential discipline. It now remains for 
us to show that this character was also stamped upon its 
arrangements for the care of bodily sickness. ) 

“41 was sick and ye visited me. . . . . As ye have done it unto 
one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” 
In these words the founder of Christianity set the love that 
tends the sick in the centre of his religion, laying it on the 
᾿ hearts of all his disciples. Primitive Christianity carried it in 
her heart; she also carried it out in practice! Even from the 
fragments of our extant literature, although that literature was 
not written with any such intention, we can still recognise the 
careful attention paid to works of mercy. At the outset we 
meet with directions everywhere to care for sick people. “ En- 
courage the faint-hearted, support the weak,” writes the apostle 
Paul to the church of Thessalonica (1 Thess, v. 14), which in its 
excitement was overlooking the duties lying close at hand. In 
the prayer of the church, preserved in the first epistle of Clement, 
supplications are expressly offered for those who are sick in soul 
and body.? “Is any man sick? let him call for the elders of 

Roman Christians, who were devotees of learning, are certainly reported in -one 
passage (written by a fanatical opponent, it is true) to have worshipped Galen 
(Eus., #.2., v. 28); but no mention is made of them worshipping Aésculapius. 
In addition to the passages cited above, in which early Christian writers deal with 
4Esculapius (who is probably alluded to also as far back as Apoc. ii. 23), the 
following are to be noted: Justin, 4fo/. I., xxi., xxii., xxv., liv. (passages which 
are radically misunderstood when it is inferred from them that Justin is in favour 
of the god); Tatian, Orat. xxi. ; Theoph., ad Audiol., i. 9; Tertull., de Anima, i. 
(a passage which is specially characteristic of the aversion felt for this god) ; 
Cyprian’s Quod Idola, i.; Orig., ὦ. Cels., III. iii, xxii.-xxy., xxviii., ΧΙ]. 
Clement explains him in Profr., ii, 26, after the manner of Euhemerus: τὸν γὰρ 
εὐεργετοῦντα μὴ συνιέντες θεὸν ἀνέπλασάν τινας σωτῆρας Διοσκούρους .... καὶ 
᾿Ασκληπιὸν ἰατρόν (‘‘Through not understanding the God who was their bene- 
factor, they fashioned certain saviours, the Dioscuri and A®sculapius the physi- 
cian”). A number of passages (e.g., Protr., ii. 20, ἰατρὸς φιλάργυρος ἣν, ‘he 
was an avaricious physician,” and iv. 52) show how little Clement cared for him, 

1 Cp. the beautiful sentences of Lactantius, Dzv. Just., vi. 12 (especially 
p- 529, Brandt): Aegros quoque quibus defuerit qui adsistat, curandos fovendosque 
suscipere summae humanitatis et magnae operationis est (“‘ It is also the greatest 
kindness possible and a great charity to undertake the care and maintenance of the 
sick, who need some one to assist them ”’), 

2 1 Clem. lix. : τοὺς ἀσθενεῖς (such is the most probable reading) ἴασαι . . .. 



the church,” says Jas. v. 14—a clear proof that all aid in cases 
of sickness was looked upon as a concern of the church.! ‘This 
comes out very plainly also in the epistle of Polycarp (vi. 1), 
where the obligations of the elders are displayed as follows: 
They must reclaim the erring, care for all the infirm, and 
neglect no widow, orphan, or poor person.” Particulars of this 
duty are given by Justin, who, in his Apology (ch. lxvii.), 
informs us that every Sunday the Christians brought free-will 
offerings to their worship; these were deposited with the 
president (or bishop), “who dispenses them to orphans and 
widows, and to any who, from sickness or some other cause, are 
in want.” A similar account is given by Tertullian in his 
Apology (ch. xxxix.), where special stress is laid on the church’s 
care for old people who are no longer fit for work. Justin is 
also our authority for the existence of deacons whose business it 
was to attend the sick. 

Not later than the close of the third century, the veneration , 
of the saints and the rise of chapels in honour of martyrs / 
and saints led to a full-blown imitation of the Atsculapius-cult ; 
within the church. Cures of sickness and infirmities were sought. ) 

Even the practice of incubation must have begun by this time, 
if not earlier; otherwise it could not not have been so widely 
diffused in the fourth century. The teachers of the church had 
previously repudiated it as heathenish; but, as often happens 
in similar circumstances, it crept in, though with some alteration 
of its ceremonies. 

In its early days the church formed a permanent establish- 
ment for the relief of sickness and poverty, a function which it 

continued to discharge for several generations. It was based on — 

the broad foundation of the Christian congregation ; it acquired 

a sanctity from the worship of the congregation ; and its opera- - 

tions were strictly centralized. The bishop was the super- 
intendent (Apost. Consttt., iii. 4), and in many cases, especially 
in Syria and Palestine, he may have actually been a physician 

ἐξανάστησον τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας, παρακάλεσον τοὺς ὀλιγοψυχοῦντας (‘* Heal the 
sick, . ... raise up the weak, encourage the faint-hearted”), Cp. the later 
formulas of prayer for the sick in “422. Constit., viii. 10 and onwards; cp, 
Binterim, Denkwiirdigkeiten, vi. 3, pp. 17 f. 

1 Cp. 1 Cor. xii. 26: ‘‘ If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it.” 



himself.!. His executive or agents were the deacons and the 
order of “widows.” The latter were at the same time to be 
secured against want, by being taken into the service of the 
church (cp. 1 Tim. v. 16). Thus, in one instruction dating from 
the second century,” we read that, ‘In every congregation at 
least one widow is to be appointed to take care of sick women ;* 
she is to be obliging and sober, she is to report cases of need to 
the elders, she is not to be greedy or addicted to drink, in order 
that she may be able to keep sober for calls to service during 
the night.” She is to “ report cases of need to the elders,” i.¢., 
she is to remain an assistant (cp. Syr. Didasc. xv. 79 ἢ). Ter- 
tullian happens to remark (de Praescr., xli.) in a censure of 
women belonging to the heretical associations, that “they 
venture to teach, to debate, to exorcise, to promise cures, pro- 
bably even to baptize.” In the Eastern church the order of 
widows seems to have passed on into that of “ deaconesses” at a 
pretty early date, but unfortunately we know nothing about 
this transition or about the origin of these “ deaconesses,” 4 

In the primitive church female assistants were quite thrown 

into the shadow by the men. ‘The deacons were the real 
agents of charity. ‘Their office was onerous; it was exposed to 
grave peril, especially in a time of persecution, and deacons 
furnished no inconsiderable proportion of the martyrs. ‘* Doers 
of good works, looking after all by day and night ”—such 1s 
their description (Texte εὐ. Unters., 11. 5, p. 24), one of their 

1 Achelis ( Zexte wu. Unters., xxv. 2. 1904, p. 381) attempts to prove that the 
author of the Syriac Didascalia was at once a bishop and a physician; he shows 
(p. 383) that similar combinations were not entirely unknown (cp. de Rossi’s Roma 
Sotter., tav. XXI. 9, epitaph from San Callisto, Διονυσίου tatpov πρεσβυτερου ; 
Zenobius, physician and martyr in Sidon in the reign of Diocletian, Eus., 
H.E., viii. 13; a physician and bishop in Tiberias, Epiph., Her., xxx. 4; 
Theodotus, physician and bishop in Laodicea Syr. ; Basilius, episcopus artis 
medicinae gnarus, at Ancyra, Jerome, de Vir. ///., 89 ; in Can. Hipp., iii. § 18, the 
gift of healing is asked for the bishop and presbyter at ordination, while viii. § 53 
presupposes that anyone who possessed this gift moved straightway to be enrolled 
among the clergy). Cp. Zexte τε. Unters., viii. 4. pp. 1-14 (‘‘ Christian doctors”). 

2 Cp. Texte u. Unters., ii. 5. p. 23. 

3 ** But thou, O widow, who art shameless, seest the widows, thy comrades, or 
thy brethren lying sick, yet troublest not to fast or pray for them, to lay hands 
on them or to visit them, as if thou wert not in health thyself or free” (Syr. 
Didasc., xv. 80). 

4 They are first mentioned in Pliny’s letter to Trajan. 


main duties being to look after the poor and sick... How much 
they had to do and how much they did, may be ascertained 
from Cyprian’s epistles* and the genuine Acts of the Martyrs. 
Nor were the laity to be exempted from the duty of tending the 
sick, merely because special officials existed for that purpose. 
“The sick are not to be overlooked, nor is anyone to say that 
he has not been trained to this mode of service. No one is to 
plead a comfortable life, or the unwonted character of the duty, 
as a pretext for not being helpful to other people ”—so runs a 
letter of pseudo-Justin (c. xvii.) to Zenas and Serenus. The 
author of the pseudo-Clementine epistle “ de virginitate” brings 
out with special clearness the fact that to imitate Christ is to 
minister to the sick, a duty frequently conjoined with that of 
“visiting orphans and widows” (visttare pupillos et viduas). 
Eusebius (de mart. Pal., xi. 22) bears this testimony to the 
character of Seleucus, that like a father and guardian he had 
shown himself a bishop and patron of orphans and destitute 
widows, of the poor and of the sick. Many similar cases are on 
record. In a time of pestilence especially, the passion of tender 
mercy was kindled in the heart of many a Christian. Often 
had Tertullian (4 polog. xxxix.) heard on pagan lips the remark, 
corroborated by Lucian, “ Look how they love one another!” 

1 Cp. Zp. pseudo-Clem, ad Jacob., xii. οἱ τῆς ἐκκλησίας διάκονοι τοῦ ἐπισκόπου 
συνετῶς ῥεμβόμενοι ἔστωσαν ὀφθαλμοί, ἑκάστου τῆς ἐκκλησίας πολυπραγμονοῦντες 
τὰς πράξεις. ... τοὺς δὲ κατὰ σάρκα νοσοῦντας μανθανέτωσαν καὶ τῷ ἀγνοῦντι 
πλήθει προσαντιβαλλέτωσαν, ἵν᾽ ἐπιφαίνωνται, καὶ τὰ δέοντα ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ προκα- 
θεζομένονυ γνώμῃ παρεχέτωσαν (‘‘ Let the deacons of the church move about 
intelligently and act as eyes for the bishop, carefully inquiring into the actions of 
every church member. . . . let them find out those who are sick in the flesh, 
and bring such to the notice of the main body who know nothing of them, that 
they may visit them and supply their wants, as the president may judge fit”), 

? In the epistles which he wrote to the church from his hiding-place, he is 
always reminding them not to neglect the sick. 

5.1 merely note in passing the conflict waged by the church against medical 
sins like abortion (Déd., ii. 2; Barn., xix. 5; Tert., Apol, ix.; Minuc, 
Felix., xxx. 2; Athenag., Suppl. xxxv.; Clem., Paed., ii. 10, 96, etc.), and the 
unnatural morbid vices of paganism. It was a conflict in which the interests of 
the church were truly human; she maintained the value and dignity of human 
life, refusing to allow it to be destroyed or dishonoured at any stage of its develop- 
ment. With regard to these offences, she also exerted some influence upon the 
State legislation, in and after the fourth century, although even in the third 
century the latter had already approximated to her teaching on such points. 


As regards therapeutic methods, the case stood as it stands 
to-day. ‘The more Christians renounced and hated the world, 
the more sceptical and severe they were against ordinary means 
of healing (cp., ¢.g., 'Tatian’s Oratio, xvii.—xviii.). There was a 
therapeutic “Christian science,” compounded of old and new 
superstitions, and directed against more than the ‘ demonic” 
cures (see the following section). Compare, by way of proof, 
Tertullian’s Scorp.,i.: “We Christians make the sign of the 
cross at once over a bitten foot, say a word of exorcism, and rub 
it with the blood of the crushed animal.” Evidently the sign 
of the cross and the formula of exorcism were not sufficient by 


Durine the early centuries a belief in demons, and in the power 
they exercised throughout the world, was current far and wide. 
There was also a corresponding belief in demon possession, in 
consequence of which insanity frequently took the form of a 
conviction, on the part of the patients, that they were possessed 
by one or more evil spirits. ‘Though this form of insanity still 
occurs at the present day, cases of it are rare, owing to the fact 
that wide circles of people have lost all belief in the existence 
and activity of demons. But the forms and phases in which 
insanity manifests itself always depend upon the general state of 
culture and the ideas current in the social environment, so that 
whenever the religious life is in a state of agitation, and a firm 
belief prevails in the sinister activity of evil spirits, ‘*‘ demon- 
possession ™ still breaks out sporadically. Recent instances have 
even shown that a convinced exorcist, especially if he is a 
religious man, is able to produce the phenomena of “ possession ” 
in a company of people against their will, in order subsequently 
to cure them. ‘“ Possession” is also infectious. Supposing that 
one case of this kind occurs in a church, and that it is connected 
by the sufferer himself, or even by the priest, with sin in general 
or with some special form of sin; supposing that he preaches 
upon it, addressing the church in stirring language, and de- 
claring that this is really devil’s play, then the first case will 

1 Based on the essay from which the previous section has largely borrowed. 
Cp. on this point Weinel, Die Wirkungen des Getstes und der Getster im nachapost. 
Zettalter (1899), pp. 1 f., and the article ‘‘ Dimonische” in the Protest. Real- 
Encykl., ἰν, (8), by 17. Weiss. 



soon be followed by a second and by a third.!. The most 
astounding phenomena occur, many of whose details are still 
inexplicable. Everything is doubled—the consciousness of the 
sufferer, his will, his sphere of action. With perfect sincerity 
on his own part (although it is always easy for frauds to creep 
in here), the man is at once conscious of himself and also of 
another being who constrains and controls him from within. 
He thinks and feels and acts, now as the one, now as the other ; 
and under the conviction that he is a double being, he confirms 
himself and his neighbours in this belief by means of actions 
which are at once the product of reflection and of an inward 
compulsion. Inevitable self-deception, cunning actions, and 
the most abject passivity form a sinister combination. But 
they complete our idea of a psychical disease which usually 
betrays extreme susceptibility to “ suggestion,” and, therefore, 
for the time being often defies any scientific analysis, leaving it 
open to anyone to think of special and mysterious forces in 
operation. In this region there are facts which we cannot 
deny, but which we are unable to explain.” Furthermore, there 
are “diseases” in this region which only attack superhuman 
individuals, who draw from this “disease” a new life hitherto 
undreamt of, an energy which triumphs over every obstacle, 
and a prophetic or apostolic zeal. We do not speak here of 
this kind of “possession”; it exists merely for faith — or 

In the case of ordinary people, when disease emerges in con- 

1 Tertullian (de Anima, ix.) furnishes an excellent example of the way in which 
morbid spiritual states (especially visions) which befel Christians in the church 
assemblies depended upon the preaching to which they had just listened. One 
sister, says Tertullian, had a vision of a soul in bodily form, just after Tertullian 
had preached on the soul (probably it was upon the corporeal nature of the soul). 
He adds quite ingenuously that the content of a vision was usually derived from 
the scriptures which had just been read aloud, from the psalms, or from the 

2 Cp. the biography of Blumhard by Ziindel (1881) ; Ribot’s Zes maladies de la 
personnaltté (Paris, 1885), Les maladies de la mémotre (Paris, 1881), and Les 
maladies de la volonté (Paris, 1883) [English translations of the second in the 
International Scientific Series, and of the first and third in the Religion of Science 
Library, Chicago]; see also Jundt’s work, Rul/man Merswin: un probleme de 
psychologie religteuse (Paris, 1890), especially pp. 96 f. ; also the investigations of 
Forel and Krafft-Ebing. 

ee OS 


nection with religion, no unfavourable issue need be anticipated. 
As a general rule, the religion which brings the disease to a 
head has also the power of curing it, and this power resides in 
Christianity above all other religions. Wherever an empty or 
a sinful life, which has almost parted with its vitality, is 
suddenly aroused by the preaching of the Christian religion, so 

that dread of evil and its bondage passes into the idea of actual 

“possession,” the soul again is freed from the latter bondage 
by the message of the grace of God which has appeared in 
Jesus Christ. Evidence of this lies on the pages of church 
history, from the very beginning down to the present day. 
During the first three centuries the description of such cases 
flowed over into the margin of the page, whereas nowadays they 
are dismissed in a line or two. But the reason for this change 
is to be found in the less frequent occurrence, not of the cure, 
but of the disease. 

The mere message or preaching of Christianity was not of 
course enough to cure the sick. It had to be backed by a 
convinced belief or by some person who was sustained by this 
belief. ‘The cure was wrought by the praying man and not 
by prayer, by the Spirit and not by the formula, by the 
exorcist and not by exorcism. Conventional means were of no 
use except in cases where the disease became an epidemic and 
almost general, or in fact a conventional thing itself, as we 
must assume it often to have been during the second century. 
The exorcist then became a mesmerist, probably also a deluded 
impostor. But wherever a strong individuality was victimized 
by the demon of fear, wherever the soul was literally convulsed 
by the grip of that power of darkness from which it was now 
fain to flee, the will could only be freed from its bondage by 
some strong, holy, outside will. Here and there cases occur of 
what modern observers, in their perplexity, term “suggestion.” 
But “suggestion” was one thing to a prophet, and another 
thing to a professional exorcist. 

In the form in which we meet it throughout the later books 
of the Septuagint, or in the New Testament, or in the Jewish 
literature of the Imperial age, belief in the activity of demons 
was a comparatively late development in Judaism. But during 


that period it was in full bloom.'| And it was about this time 
that it also began to spread apace among the Greeks and 
Romans. How the latter came by it, is a question to which no 
answer has yet been given. It is impossible to refer the form 
of belief in demons which was current throughout the empire, 
in and after the second century, solely to Jewish or even to 
Christian sources. But the naturalizing of this belief, or, more 
correctly, the development along quite definite lines of that 
early Greek belief in spirits, which even the subsequent 
philosophers (e¢.g., Plato) had supported—all this was a process 
to which Judaism and Christianity may have contributed, no less 
than other Oriental religions, including especially the Egyptian,? 
whose priests had been at all times famous for exorcism. In 
the second century a regular class of exorcists existed, just as at 
the present day in Germany there are “ Naturirzte,” or Nature- 
physicians, side by side with skilled doctors. Still, sensible 
people remained sceptical, while the great jurist Ulpian refused 
(at a time when, as now, this was a burning question) to re- 
cognize such practitioners as members of the order of physicians. 
He was even doubtful, of course, whether “specialists” were 
physicians in the legal sense of the term.* 

1 Cp. the interesting passage in Joseph., Amz., viii. 2. 5: Παρέσχε Σολομῶνι 
μαθεῖν ὁ θεὸς καὶ Thy κατὰ τῶν δαιμόνων τέχνην εἰς ὠφέλειαν Kal θεραπείαν τοῖς 
ἀνθρώποις " ἐπῳδάς τε συνταξάμενος αἷς παρηγυρεῖται τὰ νοσήματα καὶ τρόπους 
ἐξορκώσεων κατέλιπεν, οἷς of ἐνδούμενοι τὰ δαιμόνια ὡς μήκετ᾽ ἐπανελθεῖν ἐκδιώξουσι * 
καὶ αὕτη μέχρι νῦν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἡ θεραπεία πλεῖστον ἰσχύει (‘God enabled Solomon 
to learn the arts valid against demons, in order to aid and heal mankind. He 
composed incantations for the alleviation of disease, and left behind him methods 
of exorcism by which demons can be finally expelled from people. A method of 
healing which is extremely effective even in our own day”). Compare also the 
story that follows this remark. The Jews must have been well known as exorcists 
throughout the Roman empire, 

2 And also the Persian. 

3 Cp. the remarkable passage in Dzg. Leg., xiii. c. 1, § 3: Medicos fortassis 
quis accipiet etiam eos qui alicuius partis corporis vel certi doloris sanitatem 
pollicentur : ut puta si auricularis, si fistule vel dentium, non tamen si incantavit, 
si inprecatus est si ut vulgari verbo impostorum utar, exorcizavit: non sunt ista 
medicinae genera, tametsi sint, qui hos sibi profuisse cum praedicatione adfirmant 
(‘‘Perchance we should admit as physicians those also who undertake to cure 
special parts of the body or particular diseases, as, for example, the ear, ulcers, or 
the teeth; yet not if they employ incantations or spells, or—to use the term 

current among such impostors— if they ‘ exorcise,’ Though there are people who 
loudly maintain that they have been helped thereby.”’) 


second century were as follows. In the first place, the belief 
made its way upwards from the obscurity of the lower classes into 

The characteristic features of belief in demons! during the — | 
the wpper classes of society, and became far more important than 

ee ΩΡ ΎΚ΄ 

it had hitherto been; in the second place, it was no longer 
accompanied by a vigorous, naive, and open religion which kept 
it within bounds; furthermore, the power of the demons, which 
had hitherto been regarded as morally indifferent, now came 
_ to represent their wickedness ; and finally, when the new belief 
_ was applied to the life of individuals, its consequences embraced 
| psychical diseases as well as physical. In view of all these con- 
siderations, the extraordinary spread of belief in demons, and 
the numerous outbursts of demonic disease, are to be referred 
to the combined influence of such well-known factors as the 
_ dwindling of faith in the old religions, which characterized the 
Imperial age, together with the rise of a feeling on the part of 
the individual that he was free and independent, and therefore 
flung upon his inmost nature and his own responsibility. Free 
now from any control or restraint of tradition, the individual 
wandered here and there amid the lifeless, fragmentary, and 
chaotic débris of traditions belonging to a world in process of 
dissolution; now he would pick up this, now that, only to 
discover himself at last driven, often by fear and hope, to 
find a deceptive support or a new disease in the absurdest of 
them all.” a 

Such was the situation of affairs encountered by the gospel. 

It has been scoffingly remarked that the gospel produced the 

_ very diseases which it professed itself able to cure. ‘The scoff 

is justified in certain cases, but in the main it recoils upon the 

scoffer. The gospel did bring to a head the diseases which it 

proceeded to cure. It found them already in existence, and 

intensified them in the course of its mission. But it also cured 

_ them, and no flight of the imagination can form any idea of 

_ what would have come over the ancient world or the Roman 

1 The scientific statement and establishment of this belief, in philosophy, goes 
back to Xenocrates; after him Posidonius deserves special mention. Cp. 
Apuleius, de Deo Socratzs. 

2 Jas. iii. 15 speaks of σοφία δαιμονιώδης. 

VOL. I, | 9. 


empire during the third century, had it not been for the church. 
Professors”Tike Libanius or his colleagues in the academy at 
Athens, are of course among the immortals; people like that 
could maintain themselves without any serious change from 
century to century. But no nation thrives upon the food of 
rhetoricians and philosophers. At the close of the fourth 
century Rome had only one Symmachus, and the East had only 
one Synesius. But then, Synesius was a Christian. 

In what follows I propose to set down, without note or 
comment, one or two important notices of demon-possession 
and its cure from the early history of the church. In the case 
of one passage I shall sketch the spread and shape of belief in 
demons. This Tertullian has described, and it is a mistake to 
pass Tertullian by.—In order to estimate the significance of 
exorcism for primitive Christianity, one must remember that 
according to the belief of Christians the Son of God came into 
the world to combat Satan and his kingdom. The evangelists, 
especially Luke, have depicted the life οἵ Jesus from the 
temptation onwards as an uninterrupted conflict with the devil ; 
what he came for was to destroy the works of the devil. In 
Mark (i. 32) we read how many that were possessed were 
brought to Jesus, and healed by him, as he cast out the demons 
(i. 34). “ He suffered not the demons to speak, for they knew 
him” (see also Luke iv. 34, 41). In i. 39 there is the general 
statement: “He preached throughout all Galilee in the 
synagogues and cast out the demons.” When he sent forth the 
twelve disciples, he conferred on them the power of exorcising 
(iii. 15), a power which they forthwith proceeded to exercise 
(vi. 13; for the Seventy, see Luke x. 17); whilst the scribes at 
Jerusalem declared he had Beelzebub,! and that he cast out 
demons with the aid of their prince.” The tale of the “ unclean 
spirits” who entered a herd of swine is quite familiar (v. 2), 
forming, as it does, one of the most curious fragments of the 
sacred story, which has vainly taxed the powers of believing 

1 John the Baptist was also said to have been possessed (cp. Matt. xi. 18), 

2 Jesus himself explains that he casts out demons by aid of the spirit of God 
(Matt. xii, 28), but he seems to have been repeatedly charged with possessing the 
devil and with madness (cp. John vii. 20, viii. 48 f., x. 20). 



and of rationalistic criticism. Another story which more 
immediately concerns our present purpose is that of the 
Canaanite woman and her possessed daughter (vii. 25 f.). 
Matt. vii. 15 f. (Luke ix. 38) shows that epileptic fits, as well 
as other nervous disorders (e¢.g., dumbness, Matt. xii. 22, Luke 
xi. 14), were also included under demon-possession. It is 
further remarkable that even during the lifetime of Jesus 
exorcists who were not authorised by him exorcised devils in 
his name. ‘This gave rise to a significant conversation between 
Jesus and John (Mark ix. 38). John said to Jesus, “ Master, 
we saw a man casting out demons in thy name, and we forbade 
him, because he did not follow us.” But Jesus answered, “ For- 
bid him not. No one shall work a deed of might in my name 
and then deny me presently; for he who is not against us, is 
for us.” On the other hand, another saying of our Lord 

_ numbers people who have never known him (Matt. vii. 22) 

among those who cast out devils in his name. From one 
woman among his followers Jesus was known afterwards to 
have cast out “ seven demons” (Mark xvi. 9, Luke viii. 2), and 
among the mighty deeds of which all believers were to be made 

capable, the unauthentic conclusion of Mark’s gospel enumerates 

exorcism (xvi. 17).! 

It was as exorcisers that Christians went out into the great | 

world, and exorcism formed one very powerful method of their 

mission and propaganda. It was a question not simply of 

exorcising and vanquishing the demons that dwelt in mdividuals, 
but also of purifying all public life from them. For the age was 
ruled by the black one and his hordes (Barnabas) ; tt “ eth in the 
evil one,” κεῖται ἐν πονηρῷ (John). Nor was this mere theory ; 
it was a most vital conception of existence. 'The whole world 
and the cireumambient atmosphere were filled with devils; not 
merely idolatry, but every phase and form of life was ruled by 
them. They sat on thrones, they hovered around cradles. 'The 
earth was literally a hell, though it was and continued to be a 
creation of God. ‘To encounter this hell and all its devils, 
Christians had command of weapons that were invincible. 
Besides the evidence drawn from the age of their holy scriptures, 
1 Indeed, it is put first of all. 





they pointed to the power of exorcism committed to them, 
which routed evil spirits, and even forced them to bear witness 
to the truth of Christianity. “We,” says Tertullian towards 
the close of his Apology (ch. xlvi.), “we have stated our case 
fully, as well as the evidence for the correctness of our statement 
—that is, the trustworthiness and antiquity of our sacred 
writings, and also the testimony borne by the demonic powers 
themselves (in our favour).” Such was the stress laid on the 
activity of the exorcists.! 

In Paul’s epistles,” in Pliny’s letter, and in the Didaché, they 
are never mentioned.? But from Justin downwards, Christian 
literature is crowded with allusions to exorcisms, and every 
large church at any rate had exorcists. Originally these men 
were honoured as persons endowed with special grace, but after- 
wards they constituted a class by themselves, in the lower 
hierarchy, like lectors and sub-deacons. By this change they 
lost their pristine standing. The church sharply distinguished 
between exorcists who employed the name of Christ, and pagan 
sorcerers, magicians, etc.;° but she could not protect herself 
adequately against mercenary impostors, and several of her 
exorcists were just as dubious characters as her “ prophets.” 
The hotbed of religious frauds was in Egypt, as we learn from 
Lucian’s Peregrinus Proteus, from Celsus, and from Hadrian’s 

1 In the pseudo-Clementine epistle ‘‘on Virginity” (i, 10), the reading of 
Scripture, exorcism, and teaching are grouped as the most important functions in 
religion. | 

2 See, however, Eph. vi. 12; 2 Cor. xii. 7, etc. 

8. No explanation has yet been given of the absence of exorcism in Paul. His — 

doctrine of sin, however, was unfavourable to such phenomena. 

4 The history of exorcism (as practised at baptism, and elsewhere on its own 
account) and of exorcists is far too extensive to be discussed here ;- besides, in some 
departments it has not yet been sufficiently investigated. Much information may 
still be anticipated from the magical papyri, of which an ever-increasing number 
are coming to light. So far as exorcism and exorcists entered into the public life 
of the church, see Probst’s Sakramente und Aer CH eam pp. 39 f., and 
Kirchliche Disziplin, pp. 116 f. 

5 Cp. the apologists, Origen’s reply to Celsus, and the injunction in the Canons 
of Hippolytus (7exte τε. Unters., vi. 4, pp. 83 f.): ‘‘Olwmorhs vel magus vel 

astrologus, hariolus, somniorum interpres, praestigiator . .. . vel qui phylac- 
teria conficit . . . . hi omnes et qui sunt similes his neque instruendi neque 
baptizandi sunt.’”’ Observe also the polemic against the magical arts of the 




letter to Servian.' At a very early period pagan exorcists 
appropriated the names of the patriarchs (cp. Orig., c. Cels., I. 
xxii.), of Solomon, and even of Jesus Christ, in their magical 
formulz ; even Jewish exorcists soon began to introduce the 
name of Jesus in their incantations.2, The church, on the 
contrary, had to warn her own exorcists not to imitate the 
heathen. In the pseudo-Clementine de Virginitate we read 
(i. 12): “For those who are brethren in Christ it is fitting 
and right and comely to visit people who are vexed with 
evil spirits, and to pray and utter exorcisms over them, in the 
rational language of prayer acceptable to God, not with a host 
of fine words neatly arranged and studied in order to win the 
reputation among men of being eloquent and possessed of a 
good memory. Such folk are just like a sounding pipe, or a 
tinkling cymbal, of not the least use to those over whom they 
pronounce their exorcisms. ‘They simply utter terrible words 
and scare people with them, but never act according to a true 
faith such as that enjoined by the Lord when he taught that 
‘this kind goeth not out save by fasting and prayer offered 
unceasingly, and by a mind earnestly bent (on God).’ Let them 
make holy requests and entreaties to God, cheerfully, circum- 
spectly, and purely, without hatred or-malice. For such is the 
manner in which we are to visit a sick (possessed) brother o1 
a sister . . . . without guile or covetousness or noise or 
talkativeness or pride or any behaviour alien to piety, but with 
the meek and lowly spirit of Christ. Let them exorcise the 
sick with fasting and with prayer; instead of using elegant 
phrases, neatly arranged and ordered, let them act frankly like 
men who have received the gift of healing from God, to God’s 
glory. By your fastings and prayers and constant watching, 

" together with all the rest of your good works, mortify the 

1 Vopiscus, Saturn., 8: ‘‘ Nemo illic archisynagogus Judaeorum, nemo Sama- 

iy . . . . 
_ fites, nemo Christianorum presbyter, non mathematicus, non haruspex, non 


? Compare the story of the Jewish exorcists in Acts xix. 13: ‘‘ Now certain of 
the itinerant Jewish exorcists also undertook to pronounce the name of the Lord 
Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits. ‘I adjure you,’ they said, 
“by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’” It is admitted, in the pseudo-Cypr. de 
Rebaft., vii., that even non-Christians were frequently able to drive out demons by 
using the name ot Christ, 


works of the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. He who 
acts thus is a temple of the Holy Spirit of God. Let him cast 
out demons, and God will aid him therein. .... The Lord has 
given the command to ‘cast out demons’ and also enjoined the 
duty of healing in other ways, adding, ‘ Freely ye have received, 
freely give. A great reward from God awaits those who serve — 
their brethren with the gifts which God has bestowed upon 
themselves.” Justin writes (Apol., II. vi.): (“The Son of God 

became man in order to destroy the demons.) This you can 

/ now learn from what transpires under your own. eyes. For 
many of our Christian people have healed a large number of 

demoniacs throughout the whole world, and also in your own 
city, exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ, who was 
crucified under Pontius Pilate; yet all other exorcists, 
magicians, and dealers in drugs failed to heal such people. 
Yea, and such Christians continue still to heal them, by render- 
ing the demons impotent and expelling them from the men 
whom they possessed.” In his dialogue against the Jews 
(Ixxxv.), Justin also writes: “ Every demon exorcised in the 
name of the Son of God, the First-born of all creatures, who 
was born of a virgin and endured human suffering, who was 
crucified by your nation under Pontius Pilate, who died and 
rose from the dead and ascended into heaven—every demon 
exorcised in this name is mastered and subdued. Whereas if you 
exorcise in the name of any king or righteous man, or prophet, 
or patriarch, who has been one of yourselves, no demon will be 
subject to you..... Your exorcists, I have already said, are 
like the Gentiles in using special arts, employing fumigation 
and magic incantations.” From this passage we infer that the 
Christian formulz of exorcism contained the leading facts of 
the story of Christ... And Origen says as much, quite unmis- 
takably, in his reply to Celsus (I. vi.): ‘'The power of exorcism 
lies in the name of Jesus, which is uttered as the stories of his 
life are being narrated.” 5 

1 In the formula of exorcism the most important part was the mention of the 
crucifixion ; cp. Justin’s Déa/, xxx., xlix., Ixxvi. 

2 ῬἸΙσχύειν δοκοῦσι. ... τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ μετὰ τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῶν περὶ 
αὐτὸν ἱστοριῶν. 


Naturally one feels very sceptical in reading how various 
parties in Christianity denied each other the power of exorcism, 
explaining cures as due either to mistakes or to deception. So 
Trenzeus (II. xxxi. 2): “'The adherents of Simon and Carpocrates 
and the other so-called workers of miracles were convicted of 
acting as they acted, not by the power of God, nor in truth, 
nor for the good of men, but to destroy and deceive men by 
means of magical illusions and universal deceit. They do more 
injury than good to those who believe in them, inasmuch as 
they are deceivers. For neither can they give sight to the 
blind or hearing to the deaf, nor can they rout any demons 
save those sent by themselves—if they can do even that.”! 
With regard to his own church, Irenzeus (cp. below, ch. iv.) was 
convinced that the very dead were brought back to life by its 
members. In this, he maintains, there was neither feint, nor 
error, nor deception, but astounding fact, as in the case of our 
Lord himself. “In the name of Jesus, his true disciples, who 
have received grace from him, do fulfil a healing ministry in 
aid of other men, even as each has received the free gift of grace 
from him. Some surely and certainly drive out demons, so that 
it frequently happens that those thus purged from demons also 
believe and become members of the church.? Others, again, 
possess a fore-knowledge of the future, with visions and 

1 Cp. the sorry and unsuccessful attempts of the church in Asia to treat the 
Montanist prophetesses as demoniacs who required exorcism. Compare with this 
Firmilian’s account (Cypr., 2 2252, Ixxv. 10) of a Christian woman who felt herself 
to be a prophetess, and ‘‘ deceived” many people: Subito apparuit illi unus de 
exorcistis, vir probatus et circa religiosam disciplinam bene semper conversatus, 
qui exhortatione quoque fratrum plurimorum qui et ipsi fortes ac laudabiles in fide 
aderant excitatus erexit se contra illum spiritum nequam revincendum. .. . ille 
exorcista inspiratus dei gratia fortiter restitit et esse illum nequissimum spiritum 
qui prius sanctus putabatur ostendit (‘‘ Suddenly there appeared before her one of 
the exorcists, a tried man, of irreproachable conduct in the matter of religious 
discipline. At the urgent appeal of many brethren present, themselves as 
courageous and praiseworthy in the faith, he roused himself to meet and master 
that wicked spirit. . . . . Inspired by the grace of God, that exorcist made a 
brave resistance, and showed that the spirit which had previously been deemed 
holy, was in reality most evil”). 

? Still it seems to have been made a matter of reproach, in the third century, if 
any one had suffered from possession. Cornelius taxes Novatian (cp. Euseb., 
#1.E., vi. 43) with having been possessed by a demon before his baptism, ἀμ 
Raving been healed by an exorcist. 


prophetic utterances. .... And what shall I more say? For 
it is impossible to enumerate the spiritual gifts and blessings 
which, all over the world, the church has received from God in 
the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, 
and which she exercises day by day for the healing of the pagan 
world, without deceiving or taking money from any person. 
For as she has freely received them from God, so also does she 
freely give” (ἰατροὶ ἀνάργυροι). 

‘The popular notion prevalent among the early Christians, as 
among the later Jews, was that, apart from the innumerable 
hosts of demons who disported themselves unabashed throughout 
history and nature, every individual had beside him a good 
angel who watched over him, and an evil spirit who lay in wait 
for him (cp., 6.9... the “Shepherd” of Hermas). If he allowed 
himself to be controlled by the latter, he was thereby 
*¢ possessed,” in the strict sense of the word; 1.6.. sin itself was 
possession. ‘This brings out admirably the slavish dependence 
to which any man is reduced who abandons himself to his own 
impulses, though the explanation is naively simple. In the 
belief in demons, as that belief dominated the Christian world 
in the second and third centuries, it is easy to detect features 
which stamp it as a reactionary movement hostile to contem- 
porary culture. Yet it must not be forgotten that the heart 
of it enshrined a moral and consequently a spiritual advance, 
viz., in a quickened sense of evil, as well as in a recognition of 
the power of sin and of its dominion in the world. Hence it 
was that a mind of such high culture as Tertullian’s could 
abandon itself to this belief in demons. It is interesting to 
notice how the Greek and Roman elements are _bound—up_with 
the Jewish Christian in his detailed statement of the belief (in 
th e Apology), and I shall ΠΟῪ quote this passage in {π|. ἢ 
eo ee τα “statement that while demons are 
ensconced behind the dead gods of wood and stone, they are 
forced by Christians to confess what they are, viz., not gods at 
all, but unclean spirits. At several points we catch even here 
the tone of irony and sarcasm over these “ poor devils” which 
grew so loud in the Middle Ages, and yet never shook belief in 
them. But, on the whole, the description is extremely serious. 


People who fancy at this time of day that they would possess 
primitive Christianity if they only enforced certain primitive 
rules of faith, may perhaps discover from what follows the sort 
of coefficients with which that Christianity was burdened.* 

“We Christians,” says Tertullian (ch. xxii. f.), “affirm the 
existence of certain spiritual beings. Nor is their name new. 
The philosophers recognize demons ; Socrates himself waited on | 
a demon’s impulse, and no wonder—for a demon is said to have | 
been his companion from childhood, detaching his mind, I have 
no doubt, from what was good! The poets, too, recognize 
demons, and even the ignorant masses use them often in their 
oaths. In fact, they appeal in their curses to Satan, the prince 
of this evil gang, with a sort of instinctive knowledge of him in 
their very souls. Plato himself does not deny the existence of 
angels, and even the magicians attest both kinds of spiritual 
beings. But it is our sacred scriptures which record how certain 
angels, who fell of their own free will, produced a still more 
fallen race of demons, who were condemned by God together 
with their progenitors and with that prince to whom we have 
already alluded. Here we cannot do more than merely describe 
their doings. The ruin of man was their sole aim. From the 
outset man’s overthrow was essayed by these spirits in their 
wickedness. Accordingly they proceed to inflict diseases and 
evil accidents of all kinds on our bodies, while by means of 
violent assaults they produce sudden and extraordinary excesses 
of the soul. Both to soul and to body they have access by their 
subtle and extremely fine substance. Invisible and intangible, 
those spirits are not visible in the act; it is in their effects that 

1 Next to Tertullian, it is his predecessor Tatian who has given the most exact 
description of the Christian doctrine of demons (in his Ovatio ad Grecos, vii.— 
xvili,). The demons introduced ‘‘ Fatum” and polytheism. To believers, z.¢., 
to men of the Spirit (πνευμάτικοι), they are visible, but psychic men (ψύχικοι) are 
either unable to see them, or only see them at rare intervals (xv.-xvi.). Llnesses 
arise from the body, but demons assume the final responsibility forthem. ‘‘ Some- 
times, indeed, they convulse our physical state with a storm of their incorrigible 
wickedness ; but smitten by a powerful word of God they depart in terror, and 
the sick man is cured.” Tatian does not deny, as a rule, that possessed 
persons are often healed, even apart from the aid of Christians. In the pseudo- 
Clementine Homilies (ix. 10. 16-18) there is also important information upon 
demons. For the Christian belief in demons, consult also Diels, Elementum 
(1899), especially pp. 50 f. 


they are frequently observed, as when, for example, some myste- 
rious poison in the breeze blights the blossom of fruit trees and 
the grain, or nips them in the bud, or destroys the ripened fruit, 

_ the poisoned atmosphere exhaling, as it were, some noxious 

breath. With like obscurity, the breath of demons and of angels 

stirs up many a corruption in the soul by furious passions, vile ex- 

cesses, or cruel lusts accompanied by varied errors, the worst of 
which is that these deities commend themselves to the ensnared and 

deluded souls of men,' in order to get their favourite food of 

‘flesh-fumes and of blood offered up to the images and statues of 

the gods. And what more exquisite food could be theirs than 
to divert men from the thought of the true God by means of 
false illusions? How these illusions are managed, I shall now 
explain. Every spirit is winged, angel and demon alike. Hence 
in an instant they are everywhere. 'The whole world is just one 
place to them. ’Tis as easy for them to know as to announce 
any occurrence ; and as people are ignorant of their nature, their 
velocity is taken for divinity. Thus they would have themselves 
sometimes thought to be the authors of the events which they 
merely report—and authors, indeed, they are, not of good, but 
occasionally of evil events. ‘The purposes of Divine providence 
were also caught up by them of old from the lips of the prophets, 
and at present from the public reading of their works. So 
picking up in this way a partial knowledge of the future, they 
set up a rival divinity for themselves by purloining prophecy. 
But well do your Croesuses and Pyrrhuses know the clever 
ambiguity with which these oracles were framed in view of the 
future... .. As they dwell in the air, close to the stars, and in 
touch with the clouds, they can discern the preliminary processes 
in the sky, and thus are able to promise the rain whose coming 
they already feel. ‘Truly they are most kind in their concern 
for health! First of all, they make you ill; then, to produce 
the impression of a miracle, they enjoin the use of remedies which 
are either unheard of or have quite an opposite effect ; lastly, by 
withdrawing their injurious influence, they get the credit of 

1 This ranks as the chef-d’euvre of iniquity on the part of the demons ; ¢hey are 
responsible for introducing polytheism, t.e., they get worshipped under the images 
of dead gods, and profit by sacrifices, whose odour they enjoy, 


having worked a cure. Why, then, should I speak further of 
_ their other tricks or even of their powers of deception as spirits 
: —of the Castor apparitions, of water carried in a sieve, of a ship 
__ towed by a girdle, of a beard reddened at a touch—things done 
to get men to believe in stones as gods, instead of seeking after 
the true God? 

** Moreover, if magicians call up ghosts and even bring forward 
the souls of the dead, if they strangle boys in order to make the 
oracle speak, if they pretend to perform many a miracle by 
means of their quackery and juggling, if they even send dreams 
by aid of those angels and demons whose power they have 
invoked (and, thanks to them, it has become quite a common 
thing for the very goats and tables to divine), how much more 
keen will be this evil power in employing all its energies to do, 
of its own accord and for its own ends, what serves another’s 
purpose? Or, if the deeds of angels and demons are exactly the 
same as those of your gods, where is the pre-eminence of the 
latter, which must surely be reckoned superior in might to all 
else? Is it not a more worthy conception that the former make 
themselves gods by exhibiting the very credentials of the gods, 
than that the gods are on a level with angels and demons ? 
Locality, I suppose you will say, locality makes a difference ; in 
a temple you consider beings to be gods whom elsewhere you 

“ But hitherto it has been merely a question of words. Now 
for facts, now for a proof that ‘gods’ and ‘demons’ are but 
different names for one and the same substance. Place before | 
your tribunals any one plainly possessed by a demon. Bidden 
speak by any Christian whatsoever, that spirit will confess he ws | 
a demon, just as frankly elsewhere he will falsely pretend to bea | 
god.'_ Or, if you like, bring forward any one of those who are | 
supposed to be divinely possessed, who conceive divinity from — 
the fumes which they inhale bending over an altar, and (“ructando | 
curantur”) are delivered of it by retching, giving vent to it in 
gasps. Let the heavenly virgin herself, who promises rain, let 
that teacher of healing arts, Asculapius, ever ready to prolong 

1 In this, as in some other passages of the AfZology, Tertullian’s talk is 
too large. 


the life of those who are on the point of death, with Socordium, 
Tenatium (?), and Asclepiadotum—let them then and there shed 
the blood of that daring Christian, if—in terror of lying to a 
Christian—they fail to admit they are demons. Could any 
action be more plain? Any proof more cogent? ‘Truth in its 
simplicity stands here before your eyes ; its own worth supports 
it ; suspicion there can be none. Say you, it is a piece of magic 
or a trick of some sort? . .. . What objection can be brought 
against something exhibited in its bare reality? If, on the one 
hand, they (the demons) are really gods, why do they pretend 
(at our challenge) to be demons? From fear of us? ‘Then 
your so-called ‘Godhead’ is subordinated to us, and surely no 
divinity can be attributed to what lies under the control of 
men, .... So that ‘ Godhead’ of yours proves to be no godhead 
at all; for if it were, demons would not pretend to it, nor would 
gods deny it... .. Acknowledge that there is but one species of 
such beings, namely, demons, and that the gods are nothing else. 
Look out, then, for gods! For now you find that those whom 
you formerly took for such, are demons.” 

In what follows, Tertullian declares that the demons, on being 
questioned by Christians, not only confess they are themselves 
demons, but also confess the Christian’s God as the true God. — 
“ Fearing God in Christ, and Christ in God, they become subject 
| to the servants of God and Christ. Thus at our touch and 
_ breath, overpowered by the consideration and contemplation of 
| the (future) fire, they leave human bodies at our command, 
reluctantly and sadly, and—in your presence—shamefacedly. 
- You believe their lies; then believe them when they tell the 
_ truth about themselves. When anyone lies, it is not to disgrace 
) but to glorify himself... . . Such testimonies from your so-called 
| deities usually result in making people Christians.” 

In ch. xxvii. Tertullian meets the obvious retort that if 
demons were actually subject to Christians, the latter could not 
possibly succumb helplessly to the persecutions directed against 
them. ‘Tertullian contradicts this. The demons, he declares, 
are certainly like slaves under the control of the Christians, but 
like good-for-nothing slaves they sometimes blend fear and con- 
tumacy, eager to injure those of whom they stand in awe. “ At 


a distance they oppose us, but at close quarters they beg for 
mercy. Hence, like slaves that have broken loose from work- 
houses, or prisons, or mines, or any form of penal servitude, 
they break out against us, though they are in our power, well 
aware of their impotence, and yet rendered the more abandoned 
thereby. We resist this horde unwillingly, the same as if they 
were still unvanquished, stoutly maintaining the very position 
which they attack, nor is our triumph over them ever more 
complete than when we are condemned for our persistent faith.” 

In ch. xxxvii. Tertullian once more sums up the service which 
Christians render to pagans by means of their exorcists. ‘ Were 
it not for us, who would free you from those hidden foes that 
are ever making havoc of your health in soul and body—from 
those raids of the demons, I mean, which we repel from you 
without reward or hire?” He says the same thing in his 
address to the magistrate Scapula (ii.): “We do more than 
repudiate the demons: we overcome them, we expose them daily 
to contempt, and exorcise them from their victims, as is well 
known to many people.”' 'This endowment of Christians must 
therefore have been really acknowledged far and wide, and in a 
number of passages Tertullian speaks as if every Christian pos- 
sessed 11.5 It would be interesting if we could only ascertain how 
far these cures of psychical diseases were permanent. Unfortun- 
ately, nothing is known upon the point, and yet this is a province 
where nothing is more common than a merely temporary success. 

Like Tertullian, Minucius Felix in his * Octavius” has also 
treated this subject, partly in the same words as Tertullian (ch. 
xxvii.).2 The apologist Theophilus (ad Autolyc., ii. 8) writes: 


παρε oe eG 

Ses ἰδέ δ)ιοσης 


gp σὰ, 


1 See also the interesting observations in de Anima, i, 

2 Cp., for example, de Corona, xi. Other Christian writers also express them- 
selves to the same effect, ¢.g., the speech of Peter in the pseudo-Clementine 
Homilies (ix, 19), which declares that Christians at baptism obtain a gift of 
healing other people by means of exorcisms: ‘‘ Sometimes the demons will flee if 
you but look on them, for they know those who have surrendered themselves to 
God, and flee in terror because they honour such people” (ἐνίοτε δὲ of δαίμονες 
μόνον ἐνιδόντων ὑμῶν φεύξονται ᾿ ἴσασιν yap τοὺς ἀποδεδωκότας ἑαυτοὺς τῷ θεῷ, 
διὸ τιμῶντες αὐτοὺς πεφοβημένοι φεύγουσιν). 

3. ἐς Adjurati (daemones) per deum verum et solum inviti miseris corporibus inhor- 
rescunt, et vel exiliunt statim vel evanescunt gradatim, prout fides patientis 
adiuvat aut gratia curantis adspirat. Sic Christianos de proximo fugitant, quos 
longe in coetibus per vos lacessebant,” etc. 


“'The Greek poet spoke under the inspiration, not of a pure, 
but of a lying spirit, as is quite obvious from the fact that even 
in our own day possessed people are sometimes still exorcised in 
the name of the true God, whereupon their lying spirits them- 
selves confess that they are demons, the actual demons who 
formerly were at work in the poets.” This leads us to assume 
that the possessed frequently cried out the name of “ Apollo” 
or of the Muses at the moment of exorcising. As late as the 
middle of the third century Cyprian also speaks, like earlier 
authors, of demonic cures wrought by Christians (ad Demetr., 
xv.): “Ojifthou wouldst but hear and see the demons when 
they are adjured by us, tormented by spiritual scourges, and 
driven from the possessed bodies by racking words; when 
howling and groaning with human voices (!), and feeling by the 
power of God the stripes and blows, they have to confess the 
judgment to come! Come and see that what we say is true. 
_ And forasmuch as thou sayest thou dost worship the gods, then 
believe even those whom thou dost worship. . . . . Thou wilt see 
how those whom thou implorest implore us; how those of whom 
thou art in awe stand in awe of us. Thou wilt see how they 
stand bound under our hands, trembling like prisoners—they to 
whom thou dost look up with veneration as thy lords. Verily 
thou wilt be made ashamed in these errors of thine, when thou 
seest and hearest how thy gods, when cross-questioned by us, at 
once yield up the secret of their being, unable, even before you, 
to conceal those tricks and frauds of theirs.”! Similarly in the 
treatise T'o Donatus (ch. v.): ‘ In Christianity there is conferred 
(upon pure chastity, upon a pure mind, upon pure speech) the 
gift of healing the sick by rendering poisonous potions harmless, 

1 See also Quod Jdola Dei non sint (vii.), and Cypr., Z/, Ixix. 15: ‘‘ Hodie etiam 
geritur, ut per exorcistas voce humana et potestate divina flagelletur et uratur et 
torqueatur diabolus, et cum exire se et homines dei dimittere saepe dicat, in eo 
tamen quod dixerit fallat . . . . cum tamen ad aquam salutarem adque ad baptismi 
sanctificationem venitur, scire debemus et fidere [which sounds rather hesitating], 
quia illic diabolus opprimitur” (“‘ This goes on to-day as well, in the scourging and 

burning and torturing of the devil at the hands of exorcists, by means of the — 

human voice and the divine power, and in his declaring that he will go out and 
leave the men of God alone, yet proving untrue in what he says. . . . . However, 
when the water of salvation and the sanctification of baptism is reached, we ought 
to know and trust that the devil is crushed there”). 


a * ph ἊΣ 


by restoring the deranged to health, and thus purifying them 
from ignominious pains, by commanding peace for the hostile, 
rest for the violent, and gentleness for the unruly, by forcing— 
under stress of threats and invective—a confession from unclean 
and roving spirits who have come to dwell within mankind, by 
roughly ordering them out, and stretching them out with 
struggles, howls, and groans, as their sufferings on the rack 

increase, by lashing them with scourges, and burning them with 

fire. ‘This is what goes on, though no one sees it; the punish- 
ments are hidden, but the penalty is open. Thus what we 
have already begun to be, that is, the Spirit we have received, 
comes into its kingdom.” ‘The Christian already rules with 
regal power over the entire host of his raging adversary.1 Ὁ 

Most interesting of all are the discussions between Celsus and 
Origen on demons and possessed persons, since the debate here 
is between two men who occupied the highest level of contem- 
porary culture? Celsus declared that Christians owed the 
power they seemed to possess to their invocation and adjuration 
of certain demons.* Origen retorted that the power of banish- 
ing demons was actually vested in the name of Jesus and the 
witness of his life, and that the name of Jesus was so powerful 
that it operated by itself even when uttered by immoral persons 
(c. Cels., I. vi.). Both Origen and Celsus, then, believed in 
demons ; and elsewhere (e.g., I. xxiv. f.) Origen adduces the old 
idea of the power exercised by the_utterance of certain “ names” ; 

1 Compare with this Lactantius, Divin. Jmstit., ii, 15, iv. 27, who repeats in 
part the description of Cyprian, but lays special emphasis on the sign of the cross 
as a means of salvation from demons, 

2 Origen (in Hom, xv. 5, 7m Jesu Nave, xi. pp. 141 f.) has developed a 
theory of his own to explain the suppression of demons by the church, especially 
in the light of its bearing upon the spread of Christianity. ‘‘ Anyone who 
vanquishes a demon in himself, ¢.g., the demon of lewdness, puts it out of action; 
the demon is cast into the abyss, and cannot do any harm to anyone. Hence 
there are far fewer demons now than before; hence, also, a large number of demons 
having been overthrown, the heathen are now free to believe, as they would not 
be did whole legions of demons exist as formerly” (‘‘ Et inde est quod plurimo 
daemonum numero iam victo ad credulitatem venire gentes relaxantur, qui uti- 
que nullatenus sinerentur, si integras eorum, sicut prius fuerant, subsisterent 
legiones ”), 

8 The ethical principles of Christianity, says Celsus (I. iv. f.), are common to 

Christians and philosophers alike, while the apparent strength of the former lies 

in the names of a few demons and in incantations, 


in fact, he indicates a secret “science of names”! which confers 
power on the initiated, although of course one had to be very 
careful to recite the names in the proper language. “ When 
recited in the Egyptian tongue, the one class is specially 
efficacious in the case of certain spirits whose power does not 
extend beyond such things and such a sphere, whilst the other 
class is effective with some spirits if recited in Persian, and so 
forth.” “The name of Jesus also comes under this science of 
names, as it has already expelled numerous spirits from the 
souls and bodies of mankind and shown its power over those 
who have thus been freed from possession.”? Origen several 
times cites the fact of successful exorcism (I. xlvi., Ixvii.), and 
the fact is not denied by Celsus, who admits even the “ miracles” 
of Jesus. Only, his explanation was very different (Ixviii.). 
“The magicians,” he said, “ undertake still greater marvels, and 
men trained in the schools of Egypt profess like exploits, people 
who for a few pence will sell their reverend arts in the open 
market-place, expelling demons from people, blowing diseases 
away with their breath, calling up the spirits of the heroes, 
exhibiting expensive viands, with tables, cakes, and dainties, 
which are really non-existent, and setting inanimate things in 
motion as if they really possessed life, whereas they have but 
the semblance of animals. If any juggler is able to perform 
feats of this kind, must we on that account regard him as 
‘God’s son’? Must we not rather declare that such accomplish- 
ments are merely the contrivances of knaves possessed by evil 
demons?” Christians are jugglers or sorcerers or both ; Christ 
also was a master of demonic arts—such was the real opinion of 
Celsus2 Origen was at great pains to controvert this very 

1 Περὶ ὀνομάτων τὰ ἐν ἀπορρήτοις φιλοσοφεῖν. 

2 See on this point the statement of Origen’s pupil Dionysius, Bishop of 
Alexandria (in Euseb., H.Z., vii. 10. 4), for the reason why the Valerian per- 
secution broke out. Here pagan and Christian exorcisers opposed each other. 
Of the latter, Dionysius says: ‘‘ There are and were among them many persons 
whose very presence and look, though they merely breathed and spoke, were able 
to scatter the delusive counsels of the sinful demons.” Local persecution of 
Christians elsewhere, and indeed the great persecution under Diocletian, arose in 
this way, pagan priests affirming that the presence of Christians who attended the 
sacrifices hindered their saving influence, etc. 

83. He gives his opinion of the Gnostic exorcisers in particular in VI. xxxix. f. 


grievous charge (see, ¢.g., I. Ixviii.). And he succeeded. He 
could appeal to the unquestionable fact that all Christ’s works 
were wrought with the object of benefiting men.1 Was it so 
with magicians? Still, in this reproach of Celsus there lay a 
serious monition for the church and for the Christians, a moni- 
᾿ς tion which more than Celsus canvassed. As early as the middle 
_ of the second century a Christian preacher had declared, “‘ The 
i name of the true God is blasphemed among the heathen by 
reason of us Christians; for if we fulfil not the commands of 
God, but lead an unworthy life, they turn away and blaspheme, 
saying that our teaching is merely a fresh myth and error.” * 
From the middle of the second century onwards the cry was often 
raised against Christians, that they were jugglers and necro- 
mancers, and not a few of them were certainly to blame for such 
a charge.* Cures of demon-possession practised by unspiritual 
men as a profession must have produced a repellent impression 
on more serious people, despite the attractive power which they 
did exercise (‘Tert., Apol., xxiii. “‘ Christianos facere consuerunt ”). 
_ Besides, frivolous or ignorant Christians must often have excused 
themselves for their sins by pleading that a demon had seduced 
them, or that it was not they who did the wrong but the 
demon.‘ But there was hardly any chance of the matter being 
cleared up in the third century. Christians and pagans alike 
_ were getting more and more entangled in the belief in demons. 
In their dogmas and their philosophy of religion, polytheism 

certainly became more and more attenuated as a sublime mono- 

1 Cp., ¢.g., III. xxviii., and I. Ixviii. 

2 2 Clem. xiii. 3, μῦθόν τινα καὶ πλάνην. 

3 Origen, who himself admits that Christian exorcists were usually uneducated 
people, asserts deliberately and repeatedly that they employed neither magic nor 
sorcery but prayer alone and ‘‘ formule of exorcism which are so plain that even 

_ the plainest man can make use of them” (c, Ce/s., VII. iv. : σὺν οὐδενὶ περιέργῳ 

᾿ καὶ μαγικῷ ἢ φαρμακευτικῷ πράγματι, ἀλλὰ μόνῃ εὐχῇ καὶ ὁρκώσεσιν ἁπλουστέραις 
καὶ ὅσα ἂν δύναιτο προσάγειν ἁπλούστερος ἄνθρωπος. Cp. Comm. in Matth., 
xiii, 7, vol. iii. p. 224). 

4 Cp. Origen, de PrincZp. iii. 2. 1: ‘‘ Hence some of the less intelligent believers 
think that all human transgressions arise from their [2,6., the demons’] antagonistic 
powers, which constrain the mind of the sinner” (“‘ Unde et simpliciores quique 
domino Christo credentium existimant, quod omnia peccata, quaecumque com- 
miserint homines, ex istis contrariis virtutibus mentem delinquentium perurgentibus 
fiant ”). ' 

VOL. 1. 10 


theism was evolved; but in practical life they plunged more 
helplessly than ever into the abysses of an imaginary world of 
spirits. 'The protests made by sensible physicians’ were all in 

1 So the famous physician Posidonius at the close of the fourth ceutury, of whom 
Philostorgius (#.Z., viii, 10) narrates: ‘‘He said, though incorrectly, that it 
was not by the incentive of demons that men grew frenzied, but that it was the 
bad juices of certain sick bodies which wrought the mischief ; since the power of 
demons was in no whit hostile to the nature of man” (λέγειν αὐτόν, ὅμως οὐκ 
ὀρθῶς, οὐχὶ δαιμόνων ἐπιθέσει τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐκβαχεύεσθαι, ὑγρῶν δὲ τινων 
κακοχυμίαν τὸ πάθος ἐργάζεσθαι" μὴ γὰρ εἶναι τὸ παράπαν ἰσχὺν δαιμόνων 
ἀνθρώπων φύσιν ἐπηρεάζουσαν). 


“1 was hungry, and ye fed me; I was thirsty, and ye gave me 
drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye 
clothed me ; I was sick, and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and 
ye came to me..... Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the 
least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me.” 

These words of Jesus have shone so brilliantly for many 
generations in his church, and exerted so powerful an influence, 
that one may further describe the Christian preaching as the 
preaching of love and charity. From this standpoint, in fact, 
the proclamation of the Saviour and of healing would seem to 
be merely subordinate, inasmuch as the words “I was sick, and 
ye visited me” form but one link in the larger chain. 

Among the extant words and parables of Jesus, those which 
inculcate love and charity are especially numerous, and with 
them we must rank many a story of his life? Yet, apart alto- 
gether from the number of such sayings, it is plain that when- 
ever he had in view the relations of mankind, the gist of his 

1 In his work, Dée christliche Liebestatighett in der alten Kirche (1st ed., 1882 ; 
Eng. trans., Christian Charity in the Ancient Church, Edinburgh), Uhlhorn 
presents a sketch which is thorough, but unfair to paganism. The Greeks and 
Romans also were acquainted with philanthropy. 

2 One recalls particularly the parable of the good Samaritan, with its new 
definition of ‘‘ neighbour,” and also the parable of the lost son ; among the stories, 
_ that of the rich young man. The gospel of the Hebrews tells the latter incident 
with especial impressiveness, ‘‘ Then said the Lord to him, How canst thou say, 
“I have kept the law and the prophets,’ when it is written in the law, ‘ Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself’? And look, many of thy brethren, sons of 
Abraham, are lying in dirt and dying of hunger, while thy house is full of many 
possessions, and never a gift comes from it to them.” 



preaching was to enforce brotherliness and ministering love, and 
the surest part of the impression he left. behind him was that 
in his own life and labours he displayed both of these very 
qualities. “One is your Master, and ye are all brethren” ; 
‘¢ Whoso would be first among you shall be servant of all; for 
the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, 
and to give his life a ransom for many.” It is in this sense 
that we are to understand the commandment to love one’s 
neighbour. How unqualified it is, becomes evident from the 
saying, “‘ Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good 
to them that hate you, pray for them that despitefully use you 
and persecute you;? that ye may be sons of your Father in 
heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, 
and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” “ Blessed are the 
merciful ”—that is the keynote of all that Jesus proclaimed, and 
as this merciful spirit is to extend from great things to trifles, 
from the inward to the outward, the saying which does not pass 
over even a cup of cold water (Matt. x. 42) lies side by side 
with that other comprehensive saying, “ Forgive us our debts, 

as we forgive our debtors.” Brotherliness is love on a footing — 

of equality ; ministering love means to give and to forgive, and 
no limit is to be recognized. Besides, ministering love is the 
practical expression of love to God. 

While Jesus himself was exhibiting this love, and making it 
a life and a power, his disciples were learning the highest and 
holiest thing that can be learned in all religion, namely, to 
believe in the love of God. 'To them the Being who had made 
heaven and earth was “the Father of mercies and the God of 
all comfort ”—a point on which there is no longer any dubiety 

in the testimony of the apostolic and post-apostolic ages. Now, 
for the first time, that testimony rose among men, which cannot — 

ever be surpassed, the testimony that God is Love. The first 

great statement of the new religion, into which the fourth | 
evangelist condensed its central principle, was based entirely and _ 
exclusively on love: “We love, because He first loved us,” | 
“God so loved the world,” “A new commandment give I unto 
you, that ye love one another.” And the greatest, strongest, 

1 The saying ‘‘ Fast for them that persecute you ” is also traditional (Didaché, i. ). 



- deepest thing Paul ever wrote is the hymn commencing with 
_ the words: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and 
angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a 
clanging cymbal.” ‘The new language on the ae of Christians 
was the language of love. 

But it was more than a language, it was a thing of power and 
action. ‘The Christians really considered themselves brothers 
and sisters, and their actions corresponded to this belief. On 
this point we possess two unexceptionable testimonies from 
pagan writers. Says Lucian of the Christians: “ Their original 
lawgiver had taught them that they were all brethren, one of 
another. .... They become incredibly alert when anything of 
this kind occurs, that affects their common interests. On such 
occasions no expense is grudged.” And Tertullian (Apolog., 
xxxix.) observes: “It is our care for the helpless, our practice 
of lovingkindness, that brands us in the eyes of many of our 
opponents. ‘Only look,’ they say, ‘look how they love one 
_ another!’ (they themselves being given to mutual hatred). 
_ * Look how they are prepared to die for one another!’ (they 
themselves being readier to kill each other).”1 Thus had this 
saying became a fact: ““ Hereby shall all men know that ye are 
my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” 

The gospel thus became a social message. The preaching 
which laid hold of the outer man, detaching him from the 


world, and uniting him to his God, was also a preaching of | 

solidarity and brotherliness. ‘The gospel, it has been truly said, 
is at bottom both individualistic and socialistic. Its tendency 
towards mutual association, so far from being an accidental 
phenomenon in its history, is inherent in its character. It 
spiritualizes the irresistible impulse which draws one man to 

_ another, and it raises the social connection of human beings 

from the sphere of a convention to that of a moral obligation. 
In this way it serves to heighten the worth of man, and essays 
to recast contemporary society, to transform the socialism which 
involves a conflict of interests into the socialism which rests upon 
the consciousness of a spiritual unity and a common goal, This 

Also Ceecilius (in Minuc. Felix, ix.): ‘* They recognise each other by means 
᾿ of secret marks and signs, and love one another almost before they are acquainted.” 


was ever present to the mind of the great apostle to the Gentiles, 
In his little churches, where each person bore his neighbour's 
burden, Paul’s spirit already saw the dawning of a new humanity, 
and in the epistle to the Ephesians he has voiced this feeling with 
a thrill of exultation. Far in the background of these churches— 
i.e. When they were what they were meant to be—like some un- 
substantial semblance, lay the division between Jew and Gentile, 
Greek and Barbarian, great and small, rich and poor. For a 
new humanity had now appeared, and the apostle viewed it as 
Christ’s body, in which every member served the rest and each 
was indespensable in his own place. Looking at these churches, 
‘with all their troubles and infirmities, he anticipated, in his 
exalted moments of enthusiasm, what was the development of 
many centuries.! 

We cannot undertake to collect from the literature of the 
first three centuries all the passages where love and charity are 
enjoined. ‘This would lead us too far afield, although we should 
come across much valuable material in making such a survey. 
We would notice the reiteration of the summons to uncon- 
ditional giving, which occurs among the sayings of Jesus, whilst 
on the contrary we would be astonished to find that passages 
enforcing the law of love are not more numerous, and that they 
are so frequently overshadowed by ascetic counsels; we would 
also take umbrage at the spirit of a number of passages in which 
_the undisguised desire of being rewarded for benevolence stands 
out in bold relief? Still, this craving for reward is not in every 

1 Warnings against unmercifulness, and censures of this temper, must have 
begun, of course, at quite an early period; see the epistle of James (iv.-v.) and 
several sections in the ‘‘ Shepherd ” of Hermas. 

2 All these points are illustrated throughout the literature, from the Didaché 
and Hermas downwards. For unconditional giving, see Did. 1. 5 f.: παντὶ τῷ 
αἰτοῦντί σε δίδου καὶ μὴ awalrer* πᾶσι yap θέλει δίδοσθαι ὃ πατὴρ ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων 
χαρισμάτων. μακάριος ὃ διδοὺς κατὰ τὴν ἐντολήν " ἀθῷος γάρ ἐστιν" οὐαὶ τῷ 
λαμβάνοντι" εἰ μὲν γάρ χρείαν ἔχων λαμβάνει τις, ἄθῷος Zora‘ 6 δὲ μὴ χρείαν 

ἔχων δώσει δίκην, ἵνα τί ἔλαβε καὶ εἰς τί" ἐν συνοχῇ δὲ γενόμενος ἐξετασθήσεται. 

περὶ ὧν ἔπραξε, καὶ οὐκ ἐξελεύσεται ἐκεῖθεν μέχρις οὗ ἀποδῷ τὸν ἔσχατον 
κοδράντην (‘‘Give to everyone who asks of thee, and ask not back again; for 
the Father desireth gifts to be given to all men from his own bounties. Blessed 
is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. But woe to 
him who receives ; for if a man receives who is in need, he is guiltless, but if he is 
not in need he shall give satisfaction as to why and wherefore he received, and 


case immoral, and no conclusion can be drawn from the number 
of times when it occurs. The important thing is to deter- 
mine what actually took place within the sphere of Christian 

being confined he shall be examined upon his deeds, and shall not come out till he 
has paid the uttermost farthing”). The counsel of unconditional giving, which 
is frequently repeated, is closely bound up with the question of earthly possessions 
in the early church, and consequently with the question of asceticism. Theoreti- 
cally, from the very outset, there was to be neither property nor wealth at all; 
such things belong to the world which Christians were to renounce, Consequently, 
to devote one’s means to other people was a proceeding which demanded a fresh 
point of view ; to part with one’s property was the authorised and most meritorious 
course of action, nor did it matter, in the first instance, who was the recipient. 
In practical life, however, things were very different, and this was constantly the 
result of the very theory just mentioned, since it never gave up the voluntary 
principle (even the attempt at communism in Jerusalem, if there even was such an 
attempt, did not exclude the voluntary principle). It was by means of this 
principle that Christian love maintained its power. In practical life, complete 
renunciation of the world was achieved only by a few; these were the saints and 
heroes, Other people were in precisely the same position, with the same feelings 
and concern, as serious, devoted Catholics at the present day; they were actuated 
by motives of asceticism and of love alike. It is needless, therefore, to depict this 
state of matters in closer detail. The extreme standpoint is represented by 
Hermas, Szm., I. (see above, pp. 97 f.). 

A great deal has been written upon early Christian ‘‘ communism,” but nothing 
of the kind ever existed in the great Gentile church—for we need not take any 
account of an isolated phenomenon like the semi-pagan sect of the Carpocratians 
and their communism. Monastic “ communism ” is only called such by a misuse 
of the term, and, besides, it is irrelevant to our present subject. Even on the soil 
of Jewish Christianity, no communism flourished, for the example of the Essenes 
was never followed. Uhlhorn remarks truly (of. cz¢., p. 68; Eng. trans., 74) that 
*‘we cannot more radically misconceive the so-called ‘communism’ of early 
Christianity than by conceiving it as an institution similar to those which existed 
among the Essenes and the Therapeute. It is far more correct to represent the 
state of things as an absence of all institutions whatsoever.” Directions not 
infrequently occur (¢.¢., Barn., xix. 8; Tert., Afol., xxxix.) which have a com- 
munistic ring, but they are not to be taken in a communistic sense. The common 
formula οὐκ ἐρεῖς ἴδια εἶναι (‘‘ thou shalt not say these things are thine own”) 
simply enjoins liberality, forbidding a man to use his means merely for his own 

I have already remarked that, upon the whole, the voluntary principle was 
never abandoned in the matter of Christian giving and the scale of gifts. This 
statement, however, admits of one qualification, While the West, so far as I can 
_ judge, knew nothing as yet of the law of first-fruits and tithes throughout our 
epoch (for Cyprian, de Unit., xxvi., is not to be understood as implying the law of 
tithes), in some quarters of the East the law of first-fruits was taken over at a very 
early period (see Didaché, xiii. ). From the Didaché it passed, as an apostolic 
regulation, into all the Oriental apostolic constitutions. Origen, however, does 
not appear to regard it yet as a law of the church, though even he admits the 
legitimacy of it (tn Mum. Hom., xi. 1; in Jos. Nav, Hom., xvii.). 


charity and active love, and this we shall endeavour to 

Three passages may be brought forward to show the general 
activities which were afoot. 

In the official writing sent by the Roman to the Corinthian 
church c. 96 a.p., there is a description of the first-rate condition 
of the latter up till a short time previously (1 Clem., i., ii.), a 
description which furnishes the pattern of what a Christian 
church should be, and the approximate realization of this ideal 
at Corinth. ‘“ Who that had stayed with you did not approve 
your most virtuous and stedfast faith? Who did not admire 
your sober and forbearing Christian piety? Who did not pro- 
claim the splendid style of your hospitality? Who did not 
congratulate you on your perfect and assured knowledge? For 
you did everything without respect of persons; you walked by 
the ordinances of God, submitting to your rulers and rendering 
due honour to your senior men. Young persons also you 
charged to have a modest and grave mind; women you in- 
structed to discharge all their tasks with a blameless, grave, and 
pure conscience, and to cherish a proper affection for their 
husbands, teaching them further to look after their households 
decorously, with perfect discretion. You were all lowly in mind, 
free from vainglory, yielding rather than claiming submission, 
more ready to give than tu take; content with the supplies 
provided by God and holding by them, you carefully laid up 
His words in your hearts, and His sufferings were ever 
present to your minds. Thus a profound and unsullied peace 
was bestowed on all, with an insatiable craving for bene- 
POORER S00 Day and night you agonized for all the brother- 
hood, that by means of compassion and care the number of God’s 
elect might be saved. You were sincere, guileless, and void of 
malice among yourselves. Every sedition and every schism 
was an abomination to you. You lamented the transgressions 
of your neighbours and judged their shortcomings to be your 
own. You never rued an act of kindness, but were ready for 
every good work.” 

Then Justin concludes the description of Christian worship 
in his Apology (c. Ixvii.) thus: “Those who are well-to-do and — 

ει, een Ve 


willing, give as they choose, each as. he himself purposes; the 
collection is then deposited with the president, who succours 
orphans, widows, those who are in want owing to sickness or any 
other cause, those who are in prison, and strangers who are on 

a journey.” 

6 eS sll! lg aap teal 

Finally, Tertullian (Apolog., xxxix.) observes: “ Even if there 
does exist a sort of common fund, it is not made up of fees, as 
though we contracted for our worship. Each of us puts in a 
small amount one day a month, or whenever he pleases; but 
only if he pleases and if he is able, for there is no compulsion 
in the matter, everyone contributing of his own free will. These 
monies are, as it were, the deposits of piety. ‘They are expended 
upon no banquets or drinking-bouts or thankless eating-houses, 
but on feeding and burying poor people, on behalf of boys and 
girls who have neither parents nor money, in support of old 
folk unable now to go about, as well as for people who are 
shipwrecked, or who may be in the mines or exiled in islands or 
in prison—so long as their distress is for the sake of God’s 
fellowship—themselves the nurslings of their confession.” 

In what follows we shall discuss, so far as may be relevant to 
our immediate purpose— 

1. Alms in general, and their connection with the cultus and 
officials of the church. 

2. 'The support of teachers and officials. 

3. The support of widows and orphans. 

4. The support of the sick, the infirm, and the disabled. 

5. The care of prisoners and people languishing in the mines. 

6. The care of poor people needing burial, and of the dead in 

7. The care of slaves. 

8. The care of those visited by great calamities. 

9. The churches furnishing work, and insisting upon work. 

10. The care of brethren on a journey (hospitality), and of 
churches in poverty or any peril. 

1. Alms in general and in connection with the cultus.—Liber- 
ality was steadily enjoined upon Christians; indeed, the head- 
quarters of this virtue were to lie within the household, and its 

_ proof was to be shown in daily life. From the apostolic counsels 


down to Cyprian’s great work de Opere et Eleemosynis, there 
stretches one long line of injunctions, in the course of which 
ever-increasing stress is laid upon the importance of alms to the 
religious position of the donor, and upon the prospect of a 
future recompense. ‘These points are already prominent in 
Hermas, and in 2 Clem. we are told that “almsgiving is good 
as a repentance from sin; fasting is better than prayer, but 
almsgiving is better than either” (καλὸν ἐλεεμοσύνη ws μετάνοια 
ἁμαρτίας, κρείσσων νηστεία προσευχῆς, ἐλεεμοσύνη δὲ ἀμφοτέρων). 
Cyprian develops alms! into a formal means of grace, the only 
one indeed which remains to a Christian after baptism; in fact 
he goes still further, representing alms as a spectacle which the 
Christian offers to God.? 

1 De Op. et Eleem., i. : ‘‘Nam cum dominus adveniens sanasset illa quae Adam 
portaverat vulnera et venena serpentis antiqui curasset, legem dedit sano et pracepit 
ne ultra jam peccaret, ne quid peccanti gravius eveniret. Coartati eramus et in 
angustum innocentiae praescriptione conclusi, nec haberet quid fragilitatis humanae 
infirmitas atque imbecillitas faceret ; nisi z/eruwm pietas divina subveniens justitiae 
et misericordiae operibus ostensis viam quandam tuendae salutis aperiret ut sordes 
postmodum, quascumque contrahimus, e/eemosynzs abluamus (‘‘For when the 
Lord had at his advent cured the wounds which Adam brought, and healed the 
poison of the old serpent, he gave a law to the sound man and bade him sin no 
more, lest a worse thing should befall the sinner. We were restrained and bound 
by the commandment of innocence. Nor would human weakness and impotence 
have any resource left to it, unless the divine mercy should oxce more come to our 
aid, by pointing out works of righteousness and mercy, and thus opening a way 
to obtain salvation, so that by means of a/ms we may wash off any stains subse- 
quently contracted ”). 

2 Op, ctt., xxi.: ‘‘Quale munus cuius editio deo spectante celebratur! Si in 
gentilium munere grande et gloriosum videtur proconsules vel imperatores habere 
presentes, et apparatus ac sumptus apud munerarios maior est ut possint placere 
maioribus—quanto inlustrior muneris et maior est gloria deum et Christum spectatores 
habere, quanto istic et apparatus uberior et sumptus largior exhibendus est, ubi ad 
spectaculum conveniunt caelorum virtutes, conveniunt angeli omnes, ubi munerario 
non quadriga vel consulatus petitur sed vita aeterna praestatur, nec captatur inanis 
et temporarius favor vulgi sed perpetuum praemium regni caelestis accipitur ” 
(‘‘ What a gift is it which is set forth for praise in the sight of God! If, when the 
Gentiles offer gifts, it seems a great and glorious thing to have proconsuls or 
emperors present, and if their better classes make greater preparations and display 
in order to please the authorities—how much more illustrious. and splendid is the 
glory of having God and Christ as the spectators of a gift! How much more 
lavish should be the preparation, how much more liberal the outlay, in such a 
case, when the powers of heaven muster to the spectacle, when all the angels 
gather, when the donor seeks no chariot or consulship, but life eternal is the boon ; 
when no fleeting and fickle popularity is craved for, but the lasting reward of the 
kingdom of heaven is received 1). 


; cae tate 


It is not our business to follow up this aspect of almsgiving, 
or to discuss the amount of injury thus inflicted on a practice 
which was meant to flow from a pure love to men. ‘The point 
is that a great deal, a very great deal, of alms was given away 
privately throughout the Christian churches! As we have 
already seen, this was well known to the heathen world? 

But so far from being satisfied with private almsgiving, 
early Christianity instituted, apparently from the first, a church 
fund (Tertullian’s arca), and associated charity very closely with 
the cultus and officials of the church. From the ample materials 
at our disposal, the following outline may be sketched :—Every 
Sunday (ep. already 1 Cor. xvi. 2), or once a month (Tertullian), 

1 The pagan in Macarius Magnes (iii. 5) declares that several Christian women 
had become beggars by their lavish donations, ‘‘ Not in the far past, but only 
yesterday, Christians read Matt, xix, 21 to prominent women and persuaded them 
to share all their possessions and goods among the poor, to reduce themselves to 
beggary, to ask charity, and then to sink from independence into unseemly 
pauperism, reducing themselves from their former good position to a woebegone con- 
dition, and being finally obliged to knock at the doors of those who were better off.” 

2 With Clement of Alexandria, the motive of love to men is steadily kept in 
the front rank ; cp. Paed., iii., and in particular the fine saying in iii. 7. 39: 
καθάπερ τῶν φρεάτων ὅσα πέφυκεν Bpvew ἀπαντλούμενα εἰς τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἀναπιδύει 
μέτρον, οὕτως ἣ μετάδοσις, ἀγαθὴ φιλανθρωπίας ὑπάρχουσα πηγή, κοινωνοῦσα τοῖς 
διψῶσι ποτοῦ αὔξεται πάλιν καὶ πίμπλαται (‘Even as such wells as spring up rise 
to their former level even after they have been drained, so that kindly spring of 
love to men, the bestowal of gifts, imparts its drink to the thirsty, and is again 
increased and replenished”), Cyprian (in de Unit., xxvi.) complains of a lack of 
benevolence: ‘‘ Largitas operationis infracta est . . . . nunc de patrimonio nec 
decimas damus et cum vendere jubeat dominus, emimus potius et augemus” 
(‘‘ Liberality in benevolence is impaired . . . . we do not now give even the 
tithe of our patrimony away. The Lord bids us sell, but we prefer to buy and 
lay up”). 

3 One recommendation very frequently made, was to stint oneself by means of 
fasting in order to give alms. In this way, even the poor could afford something. 
See Hermas, Sim., v. ; Aristides, 4fo/., xv. (‘‘ And if anyone among them is poor 
or needy, and they have no food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that 
they may meet the poor man’s need of sustenance”); Afost. Comstit., v. 1, etc. 
The habit also prevailed in pre-Christian ages. Otherwise, whenever the question 
is raised, how alms are to be provided, one is pointed to work ; in fact, this is 
almost the only point at which work is taken into consideration at all within the 
sphere of the religious estimate. See Eph, iv. 28 (‘‘ Let him that stole, steal no 
more, but rather work with his hands at honest work, so that he may have some- 
thing to sive the needy”); and Barn. xix. 10: διὰ χειρῶν σον ἐργάσῃ εἰς λύτρον 

᾿ ἁμαρτιῶν σου [the reference being toalms]. Cp. my short study (in the ‘‘ Evange- 

lisch-Sozial” Magazine, 1905, pp. 48 f.) on ‘‘ The Primitive Christian Conception 

of the Worth of Labour,” 


or whenever one chose, gifts in money or kind (stips) were 
brought to the service and entrusted to the president, by whom 
they were laid on the Lord’s table and so consecrated to God.+ 
Hence the recipient obtained them from the hand of God. 
“Tis God’s grace and philanthropy that support you,” wrote 
bishop Cornelius (Eus., H.E., vi. 43). The president decided 
who were to be the recipients, and how much was to be allocated 
to each, a business in which he had the advice of the deacons, 
who were expected to be as familiar as possible with the 
circumstances of each member, and who had the further task of 
distributing the various donations, partly at the close of 
worship, partly in the homes of the indigent. In addition to 
the regular voluntary assessments—for, as the principle of 
liberty of choice was strictly maintained, we cannot otherwise 
describe these offerings—there were also extraordinary gifts, 
such as the present of 200,000 sesterces brought by Marcion 
when, as a Christian from Asia, he entered the Roman church 
about the year 199." 

Among these methods of maintenance we must also include 
the love-feasts, or agapx, with which the Lord’s Supper was 
originally associated, but which persisted into a later age. The 
idea of the love-feast was that the poor got food and drink, 
since a common meal, to which each contributed as he was able, 
would unite rich and poor alike. Abuses naturally had to be 
corrected at an early stage (cp. 1 Cor. xi. 18 f.), and the whole 
affair (which was hardly a copy of the pagan feasts at the 
Thiasoi) never seems to have acquired any particular importance 
upon the whole.’ 

1 The relation of s¢2fs and ob/ationes is a question which has not been cleared 
up yet, and need not be raised here. 

2 See on this point Book IV. Chap, I. (1). The money was returned. 

3 Cp. also Jude ver. 12; Tert., Afol., xxxix. ; de Jecun., xvii. ; Clem., Paed,, ii. 1. 
We need not enter into the controversies over the agape; cp. Keating’s Zhe 
Agape and the Eucharist (1901), Batiffol’s Etudes @hist. et de théol. positive 
(1902), pp. 279 f., and Funk on “‘ L’Agape” (Rev. a’ hist. eccléstastigue, t. iv. 1, 
1903). In later days the feasts served to satisfy the poor at the graves of the 
martyrs. Constantine justified this’ practice of feasts in honour of the dead 

against objections which were apparently current ; cp. his address to the council 
(xii.), where he dwells expressly on their charitable uses: τὰ συμπόσια (for the 

martyrs, at their graves) πρὸς ἔλεον καὶ ἀνάκτησιν τῶν δεομένων ποιούμενα καὶ πρὸς — 
βοήθειαν τῶν ἐκπεσόντων. ἅπερ ἄν tis φορτικὰ εἶναι νομίζη, οὐ κατὰ τὴν θείαν Kal — 





ERs 2) 


From the very first, the president appears to have had 

P practically an absolute control over the donations;! but the 
deacons had also to handle them as executive agents. ‘The 

responsibility was heavy, as was the temptation to avarice and 
dishonesty; hence the repeated counsel, that bishops (and 
deacons) were to be ἀφιλάργυροι, “no lovers of money.” It 
was not until a later age that certain principles came to be laid 
down with regard to the distribution of donations as a whole, 
from which no divergence was permissible, 

This system of organized charity in the churches worked side 
by side with private benevolence—as is quite evident from the 
letters and writings of Cyprian. But it was inevitable that the 
former should gradually handicap the latter, since it wore a 
superior lustre of religious sacredness, and therefore, people 
were convinced, was more acceptable to God. Yet, in special 
cases, private liberality was still appealed to. One splendid 
instance is cited by Cyprian (pist. lxii.), who describes how 
the Carthaginian churches speedily raised 100,000 sesterces 
(between £850 and £1000).? 

In 250 a.p. the Roman church had to support about 100 
clergy and 1500 poor persons. Taking the yearly cost of 
supporting one man at £7, 10s. (which was approximately the 
upkeep of one slave), we get an annual sum of £12,000. Τῇ, 
however (like Uhlhorn, op. cit., p. 153; Eng. trans., p. 159), we 
allow sixty Roman bushels of wheat per head a year at 7s. 6d.,. - 
we get a total of about £4300. It is safe to say, then, that 
about 250 a.p. the Roman church had to expend from half a 
million to a million sesterces (#.¢., from £5000 to £10,000) by 
way of relief. 

The demands made upon the church funds were heavy, as will 

_ appear in the course of the following classification and discussion. 

μακαρίαν διδασκαλίαν φρονεῖ (‘‘ These feasts are held for the purpose of helping and 
restoring the needy, and in aid of the outcast. Anyone who thinks them burden- 
some, does not judge them by the divine and blessed rule of life”’). 

? On the traces of an exception to this rule in the Afostolic Constitutions, see 
Texte τε. Untersuch., ii. 5, pp. 12 f., 58. 

* For special collections ordered by the bishop, see Tertull., de Jejun. xiii., 
and Clem., Hom., iii. 71: ὅπότε χρεία τινὸς πόρου πρὸς τὸ ἀναγκαῖον γένοιτο, ἅμα 
οἱ πάντες συμβάλλεσθε (‘‘ Whenever any funds are needed, club together, all 
of you”), 


2. The support of teachers and officials.—'The Pauline 
principle! that the rule about a “labourer being worthy of 
his hire” applied also to missionaries and teachers, was observed 
without break or hesitation throughout the Christian churches. 
The conclusion drawn was that teachers could lay claim to a 
plain livelihood, and that this claim must always have preced- 
ence of any other demand upon the funds. When a church 
had chosen permanent officials for itself, these also assumed the 
right of being allowed to claim a livelihood, but only so far as 
their official duties made inroads upon their civil occupations. 
Here, too, the bishop had discretionary power; he could 

1 Paul even describes the principle as a direction of Jesus himself; see 1 Cor. 
ix. 14: ὁ κύριος διέταξεν τοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον καταγγέλλουσιν ἐκ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ζῆν. 

2 The circumstances are not quite clear ; still, enough is visible to corroborate 
what has been said above. Church officials were not, in the first instance, obliged 
to abandon their civil calling, and so far as that provided them with a livelihood 
they had no claim upon the church’s funds, But in the course of time it became 
more and more difficult, in the larger churches, to combine civil employment with 
ecclesiastical office. There is one very instructive account in the Clementine 
Homilies (iii, 71) which indicates that some people were sceptical upon the duty 
of supporting the bishop and clergy. The author writes: Ζακχαῖος [the bishop] 
μόνος ὑμῖν ὅλος ἑαυτὸν ἀσχολεῖν ἀποδεδωκώς, κοιλίαν ἔχων καὶ ἑαυτῷ μὴ εὐσχολῶν, 
πῶς δύναται τὴν ἀναγκαίαν πορίζειν τροφήν ; οὐχὶ δὲ εὔλογόν ἐστιν πάντας ὑμᾶς 
τοῦ ζὴν αὐτοῦ πρόνοιαν ποιεῖν, οὐκ ἀναμένοντας αὐτὸν ὑμᾶς αἰτεῖν, τοῦτο γὰρ 
προσαιτοῦντός ἐστιν μᾶλλον δὲ τεθνήξεται λιμῷ ἢ τοῦτο ποιεῖν ὑποσταίη ᾿ πῶς 
δὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς οὐ δίκην ὑφέξετε, μὴ λογισάμενοι ὅτι ““ ἄξιός ἐστιν ὃ ἐργάτης τοῦ 
μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ" ; καί μὴ λεγέτῶ τις " Οὐκοῦν ὃ δωρεὰν παρασχεθεὶς λόγος πωλεῖται; 
μὴ γένοιτο" εἴ τις γὰρ ἔχων πόθεν ζῆν λάβοι, οὗτος πωλεῖ τὸν λόγον---εἶ δὲ μὴ 
ἔχων τοῦ (ζῆν χάριν λαμβάνει τροφήν, ὡς καὶ ὃ κύριος ἔλαβεν ἔν τε δείπνοις καὶ 
φίλοις, οὐδὲν ἔχων ὁ εἰς αὖθις πάντα ἔχων, οὐχ ἁμαρτάνει. ἀκολούθως οὖν τιμᾶτε 
[by an honorarium] πρεσβυτέρους κατηχητάς, διακόνους χρησίμους, χήρας εὖ βεβιω- 
κυίας, ὀρφανοὺς ὡς ἐκκλησίας τέκνα (‘‘Zaccheeus alone has devoted himself wholly 
to your interests ; he needs food, and yet has no time to provide for himself ; how 
then is he to get the requisitive provisions for a livelihood? Is it not reasonable 
that you should all provide for his support? Do not wait for him to ask you— 
asking is a beggar’s rdle, and he would rather die than stoop to that. Shall not 
you also incur punishment for failing to consider that ‘the labourer is worthy of 
his hire’? Let no one say, ‘Then is the word which was given freely, to be 
sold?’ God forbid. If any man has means and yet accepts any help, Ze sells the 
word, But there is no sin in a man without means accepting support in order to 
live—as the Lord also accepted gifts at supper and among his friends, he who had 
nothing though he was the Lord of all things. Honour, then, in appropriate 
fashion the elder catechists, useful deacons, respectable widows, and orphans as 
children of the church”), A fixed monthly salary, such as that assigned by the 
church of Theodotus to her bishop Natalis, was felt to be obnoxious. (Cp. the 
primitive story in Eus., A. Z., v. 28). 



. . 
Se Me 


{ appropriate and hand over to the presbyters and deacons what- 


ever he thought suitable and fair, but he was bound to provide 
the teachers (7.c., missionaries and prophets) with enough to live 
on day by day. Obviously, this could not fail to give rise to 
abuses. From the Didaché and Lucian we learn that such 
abuses did arise, and that privileges were misemployed.' 

3. The support of widows and orphans.2—Wherever the early 

Christian records mention poor persons who require support, 

widows and orphans are invariably in the foreground. This 

corresponds, on the one hand, with the special distress of their 

position in the ancient world, and on the other hand with the 
ethical injunctions which had passed over into Christianity from 
Judaism. As it was, widows and orphans formed the poor κατ᾽ 
ἐξοχήν. ‘The church had them always with her. “'The Roman 
church,” wrote bishop Cornelius, “supports 1500 widows and 
poor persons” (Eus., H.E., vi. 43). Only widows, we note, are 
mentioned side by side with the general category of recipients 
of relief. Inside the churches, widows had a special title of 
honour, viz., “ God’s altar,”* and even Lucian the pagan was 

aware that Christians attended first and foremost to orphans 

and to widows (Peregrin., xii.). The true worship, James had 
already urged (i. 27), is to visit widows and orphans in their 
distress, and Hermas (Mand., viii. 10) opens his catalogue of 
virtues with the words: χήραις ὑπηρετεῖν, ὀρφανοὺς καὶ 
ὑστερημένους ἐπισκέπτεσθαι (“to serve widows and visit the 
forlorn and orphans”). It is beyond question that the early 

1 Details will be found below, in the chapter [Book 111. Chap. 1.1 on the 

2 In the liturgy, widows and orphans are also placed immediately after the 
servants of the church. 

3 See Polycarp, ad Phil, iv.; Tert., ad Uxor., i. 7 ; pseudo-Ignat., Zars., 9; 
and AZos. Constzt., ii. 26 (where the term is applied also to orphans ; cp. iv. 3). 
I shall not discuss the institution of Widows, already visible in the first epistle to 
Timothy, which also tended to promote their interests. The special attention 
devoted to widows was also meant to check the undesirable step of re-marriage. 

4 In V7s., II. 4. 3, it is remarkable also how prominent are widows and orphans. 
See Aristides, Afo/,, xv.: ‘* They do not avert their attention from widows, and 
they deliver orphans from anyone who oppresses them.” Instances of orphans 
being adopted into private families are not wanting, Origen, for example, was 
adopted bya Christian woman (Eus., AZ., vi. 2); cp. Acta Perpet. et Felic., 
xv. ; Apost. Const., iv. 1. Lactantius (/mstzt., vi. 12) adduces yet another 



church made an important contribution to the amelioration of 
social conditions among the lower classes, by her support of 
widows. We need not dwell on the fact, illustrated as early 
as the epistles to ‘Timothy, that abuses crept into this depart- 
ment. Such abuses are constantly liable to occur wherever 
human beings are relieved, in whole or in part, of the duty of 
caring for themselves.? 

4. The support of the sick, the infirm, the poor, and the dis- 
abled.—Mention has already been made of the cure of sick 
people; but where a cure was impossible the church was bound 
to support the patient by consolation (for they were remembered 
in the prayers of the church from the very first; cp. 1 Clem. 
lix. 4), visitation,®? and charitable gifts (usually in kind). Next 
to the sick came those in trouble (ἐν θλίψει) and people sick 
in soul (κάμνοντες τῇ ψυχῇ. Herm., Mand., viii. 10) as a rule, 

special argument for the duty of supporting widows and orphans: ‘‘God com- 
mands them to be cared for, in order that no one may be hindered from going to 
his death for righteousness’ sake on the plea of regard for his dear children, but 
that he may promptly and boldly encounter death, knowing that his beloved ones 
are left in God’s care and will never lack protection.” 

1 See, further, Herm., Szmz/. i., v. 3, ix. 26-27, x. 4; Polyc., 21:1. vi. 1; 
Barn,, xx. 2; Ignat., Swzyrn., vi. (a propos of heretics: ‘‘ They care not for love, 
or for the widow, or for the orphan, or for the afflicted, or for the prisoner or 
ransomed, or for the hungry or thirsty” —zep) ἀγάπης od μέλει αὐτοῖς, οὗ περὶ 
χήρας, οὐ περὶ ὀρφανοῦ, od περὶ θλιβομένου, od περὶ δεδεμένου ἢ λελυμένου, ἢ περὶ 
πεινῶντος ἢ διψῶντος), ad Polyc., iv.; Justin’s “12ο]., I. xvii. ; Clem., 4A. ad 
Jacob. ὃ (rots μὲν ὀρφανοῖς ποιοῦντες τὰ γονέων, ταῖς δὲ χήραις τὰ ἀνδρῶν, 
“acting the part of parents to orphans and of husbands to widows”); Tert., 
ad Uxor., i. 7-8; Apost. Constit. (Bks, III., IV.) ; and pseudo-Clem., de Virgin. , 
i, 12 (‘‘pulchrum et utile est visitare pupillos et viduas, imprimis pauperes qui — 
multos habent liberos”). For the indignation roused by the heartlessness of many 
pagan ladies, who were abandoned to luxury, read the caustic remark of Clement 
(Paedag., iii. 4. 30): παιδίον δὲ οὐδὲ προσίενται ὀρφανὸν αἱ τοὺς ψιττακοῦς καὶ τοὺς 
χαραδριοὺς ἐκτρέφουσαι (“* They bring up parrots and curlews, but will not take © 
in the orphan child”). 

2 Scandalmongering, avarice, drunkenness, and arrogance had all to be dealt _ 
with in the case of widows who were being maintained by the church, It even — 
happened that some widows put out to usury the funds they had thus received — 
(cp. Didasc. Apost., xv. Texte τι, Unters., xxv. 2. pp. 78, 274 f.) Butthere were — 
also highly gifted widows. In fact (cp. Afost. Constit.), it was considered that — 
true widows who persevered in prayer received revelations, 

3 See Tert., σαὶ Uxor., ii. 4, on the difficult position of a Christian woman whose 
husband was a pagan: ‘‘ Who would be willing to let his wife go through street — 
after street to other men’s houses, and indeed to the poorest cottages, in order to 
visit the brethren ?”’ ὃ 

ὕ παν 


then the helpless and disabled (Tertullian singles out expressly 
senes domestic), finally the poor in general. To quote passages 
would be superfluous, for the duty is repeatedly inculcated ; 
besides, concrete examples are fairly plentiful, although our 
records only mention such cases incidentally and quite 
accidentally. Deacons, “ widows,” and deaconesses (though 
the last-named were apparently confined to the East) were set 
apart for this work. It is said of deacons in the Apostolic 
Constitutions (see Texte u. Unters., ii. 5. 8 f.): “They are to 
be doers of good works, exercising a general supervision day 
and night, neither scorning the poor nor respecting the person 
of the rich; they must ascertain who are in distress and not 
exclude them from a share in the church funds, compelling also 
the well-to-do to put money aside for good works.” Of 
“ widows” it is remarked, in the same passage, that they should 
render aid to women afflicted by disease, and the trait of 
φιλόπτωχος (a lover of the poor) is expected among the other 
qualities of a bishop.?. In an old legend dating from the 
Decian persecution, there is a story of the deacon Laurentius 
in Rome, who, when desired to hand over the treasures of the 
church, indicated the poor as its only treasures. This was 
audacious, but it was not incorrect; from the very first, any 
possessions of the church were steadily characterized as poor- 
funds, and this remained true during the early centuries.2 The 
excellence of the church’s charitable system, the deep impression 
made by it, and the numbers that it won over to the faith, find 
their best voucher in the action of Julian the Apostate, who 
attempted an exact reproduction of it in that artificial creation 

1 Naturally, neither private nor, for the matter of that, church charity was to 
step in where a family was able to support some helpless member; but it is 
evident, from the sharp remonstrance in 1 Tim. v, 8, that there were attempts 

made to evade this duty (‘‘ If anyone does not provide for his own people, and 

especially for his own household, he has renounced the faith and is worse than an 
2 Apost. Constit., in Texte u. Unters., ii. 5. 8 f. In the Veta Polycarpr 

' (Pionius) traits of this bishop are described which remind us of St Francis. On 

the female diaconate, see Uhlhorn (of, cz¢., 159-171 ; Eng, trans., 165 f.). 

3 It was not possible, of course, to relieve all distress, and Tertullian (de /do/at., 
xxiii.) mentions Christians who had to borrow money from pagans. This does 
not seem to have been quite a rare occurrence, 

VOL. I. 11 


of his, the pagan State-church, in order to deprive the Christians 
of this very weapon. ‘The imitation, of course, had no success.? 

Julian attests not only the excellence of the church’s system 
of relief, but its extension to non-Christians. He wrote to 
Arsacius (Sozom. v. 16): ‘* These godless Galileans feed not only 
their own poor but ours; our poor lack our care.” ‘This 
testimony is all the more weighty inasmuch as our Christian 
sources yield no satisfactory data on this point. Cp., however, 
under (8), and Paul’s injunction in Gal. vi. 10: “Let us do 
good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of — 
the faith.” “True charity,” says Tertullian (Apol., xlii.), 
“‘ disburses more money in the streets than your religion in the 
temples.” The church-funds were indeed for the use of the 
brethren alone, but private beneficence did not restrict itself 
to the household of faith. In a great calamity, as we learn 
from reliable evidence (see below), Christians did extend their 
aid to non-Christians, even exciting the admiration of the latter. 

5. Care for prisoners and for people languishing in the mines.— 
The third point in the catalogue of virtues given by Hermas is: 
ἐξ ἀναγκῶν λυτροῦσθαι τοὺς δούλους τοῦ θεοῦ (“ Redeem the 
servants of God from their bonds”). Prisoners might be — 
innocent for various reasons, but above all there were people — 
incarcerated for their faith or imprisoned for debt, and both 
classes had to be reached by charity. In the first instance, 
they had to be visited and consoled, and their plight alleviated 
by gifts of food.” Visiting prisoners was the regular work of 

1 We may certainly conclude that a register was kept of those who had to be 
maintained. This very fact, however, was a moral support to poor people, for it 
made them sure that they were not being neglected. 

2 Heb. x. 34, τοῖς δεσμίοις συνεπαθήσατε; Clem. Rom., lix. 4 (in the church’s 
prayer), λύτρωσαι τοὺς δεσμίους ἡμῶν ; Ignat., Smyrn., vi. (the duty of caring περὶ 
δεδεμένου ἢ λελυμένου) ; Clem., LP. ad Jacob., 9 (τοῖς ἐν φυλακᾶις ἐπιφαινόμενοι 
ὡς δύνασθε βοηθεῖτε) ; Arist., Afol., xv. (‘‘ And if they hear that anyone of their 
number is imprisoned or in distress for the sake of their Christ’s name, they all 
render aid in his necessity, and if he can be redeemed, they set him free”), Of 
the young Origen we are told (Eus., 4. Z., vi. 3) that ‘‘not only was he at the 
side of the holy martyrs in their imprisonment, and until their final condemnation, 
but when they were led to death he boldly accompanied them into danger.” 
Cp. Tert., ad Mart., i. f. (both the church and charitable individuals supplied 
prisoners with food), Acta Pass. Perpet., iii.; Petri Alex., Af. c. 2 (Lagarde’s - 
Relig. jur. eccles., p. 64, 14 f.), ο. 11 (2b2d., p. 70, 1 f.), ο. 12 (zbid., p. 70, 20 f.), 


_ the deacons, who had thus to run frequent risks; but ordinary 
_ Christians were also expected to discharge this duty. If the 
Ϊ prisoners had been arrested for their faith, and if they were 
_ rather distinguished teachers, there was no hardship in obeying 
_ the command; in fact, many moved heaven and earth to get 
access to prisoners,’ since it was considered that there was 
something sanctifying about intercourse with a confessor. In 
order to gain admission they would even go the length of 
bribing the gaolers,? and thus manage to smuggle in decent 
_ meals and crave a blessing from the saints. ‘The records of the 
martyrs are full of such tales. Even Lucian knew of the 
practice, and pointed out the improprieties to which it gave 
rise. Christian records, particularly those of a later date,* 
corroborate this, and as early as the Montanist controversy it 
was a burning question whether or no any prominent confessor 
was really an impostor, if, after being imprisoned for mis- 
demeanours, he made out as if he had been imprisoned on 
account of the Christian faith. Such abuses, however, were 
inevitable, and upon the whole their number was not large. 
The keepers, secretly impressed by the behaviour of the Chris- 
tians, often consented of their own accord to let them com- 
municate with their friends (Acta Perpet., ix.: “Pudens miles 
optio, praepositus carceris, nos magnificare coepit, intelligens 
‘magnam virtutem esse in nobis ; qui multos ad nos admittebat, 

1 Thekla, in the Acta Thecle, is one instance, and there are many others; ¢.g., 
in Tertull., ad Uxor., ii. 4. 

2 As in Thekla’s case ; see also Lucian’s Peregr., xii., and the Z/zst, Lugd., in 
Euseb., .Z., v. 1. 61. 

3 Cp. Lucian, Peregr., xii., xiii., xvi. (‘‘costly meals”), Tertullian, at the 
close of his life, when he was filled with bitter hatred towards the Catholic church, 
wrote thus in de Jejun., xii. : ‘‘ Plainly it is your way to furnish restaurants for 
dubious martyrs in the gaols, lest they miss their wonted fare and so grow weary 

_ of their life, taking umbrage at the novel discipline of abstinence! One of your 
recent martyrs (no Christian he !) was by no means reduced to this hard régime. 
_ For after you had stuffed him during a considerable period, availing yourselves of 
_ the facilities of free custody, and after he had disported himself in all sorts of baths 
(as if these were better than the bath of baptism), and in all resorts of pleasure in 
high life (as if these were the secret retreats of the church), and with all the 
_ seductive pursuits of such a life (preferable, forsooth, to life eternal)—and all this, 
I believe, just in order to prevent any craving for death—then on the last day, the 

day of his trial, you gave him in broad daylight some medicated wine (in order to 
stupefy him against the torture) !”’ 


ut et nos et illi invicem refrigeraremus” (“ Pudens, a military 
subordinate in charge of the prison, began to have a high 
opinion of us, since he recognized there was some great power 
of God in us. He let many people in to see us, that we and 
they might refresh one another”). 

If any Christian brethren were sentenced to the mines, they 
were still looked after, even there.1 Their names were carefully 
noted ; attempts were made to keep in touch with them ; efforts 
were concocted to procure their release,? and brethren were sent 
to ease their lot, to edify and to encourage them.* The care 
shown by Christians for prisoners was so notorious that (ac- 
cording to Eusebius, H.E., v. 8) Licinius, the last emperor 
before Constantine who persecuted the Christians, passed a law 
to the effect that “no one was to show kindness to sufferers in 
prison by supplying them with food, and that no one was to 
show mercy to those who were starving in prison.” “In addi- 
tion to this,” Eusebius proceeds to relate, “a penalty was 
attached, to the effect that those who showed compassion were 
to share the fate of the objects of their charity, and that those 
who were humane to the unfortunate were to be flung into 
bonds and imprisonment and endure the same suffering as the 
others.” This law, which was directly aimed at Christians, shows, 
more clearly than anything else could do, the care lavished by 
Christians upon their captive brethren, although much may have 
crept in in connection with this which the State could not tolerate. 

1 Cp. Dionysius of Corinth (in Eus., 4. Z., iv. 23), who pays a brilliant testi- 
mony to the Roman church in this connection. | 

2 Cp. the story told by Hippolytus (P4z/os., ix. 12) of the Roman bishop Victor, 
who kept a list of all Christians sentenced to the mines in Sardinia, and actually 
procured their liberty through the intercession of Marcia to the Emperor Commodus, 

3 Some extremely beautiful examples of this occur in the treatise of Eusebius 
upon the Palestinian martyrs during the Diocletian persecution. The Christians 
of Egypt went to the most remote mines, even to Cilicia, to encourage and edify 
their brethren who were condemned to hard labour in these places. In the mines — 
at Phzeno a regular church was organized. Cp. also Afpost, Comstit., v. 1: εἴ tis 
Χριστιανὸς διὰ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ χριστοῦ. . .. κατακριθῇ ὑπὸ ἀσεβῶν εἰς. . .- ᾿ 
μέταλλον, μὴ παρίδητε αὐτόν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ τοῦ κόπον καὶ τοῦ ἰδρῶτος ὑμῶν πέμψατε 
αὐτῷ εἰς διατροφὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς μισθοδοσίαν τῶν στρατιωτῶν (“Τί any Christian — 
is condemned for Christ’s sake . . . . to the mines by the ungodly, do not over- 
look him, but from the proceeds of your toil and sweat send him something to 
support himself and to reward the soldiers”), 


But they did more than try to merely alleviate the lot of 
prisoners. Their aim was to get them ransomed. Instances of 
this cannot have been altogether rare, but unfortunately it is 
difficult for us to form any judgment on this matter, since in a 
number of instancces, when a ransom is spoken of, we cannot be 
sure whether prisoners or slaves are meant. Ransoming captives, 
at any rate, was regarded as a work which was specially noble 
and well-pleasing to God, but it never appears to have been 
undertaken by any church. To the last it remained a monopoly 
of private generosity, and along this line individuals displayed 
a spirit of real heroism.* 

6. Care of poor people requiring burial, and of the dead in 
general.—We may begin here with the words of Julian, in his 
letter to Arsacius (Soz., v. 15): “This godlessness (?.¢., Chris- 
tianity) is mainly furthered by its philanthropy towards strangers 
and its careful attention to the bestowal of the dead.” Ter- 
tullian declares (see p. 153) that the burial of poor brethren 
was performed at the expense of the common fund, and 
Aristides (Apol., xv.) corroborates this, although with him it 
takes the form of private charity. ‘“ Whenever,” says Aristides, 

τ Herm., Szm., I. : ἀντὶ ἀγρῶν ἀγοράζετε ψυχὰς θλιβομένας, καθά τις δυνατός 
ἐστιν (““1πειεαα of fields buy souls in trouble, as each of you is able”) ; Sz, X. 
v. 2f.; Clem. Rom., lv. 2: ἐπιστάμεθα πολλοὺς ἐν ἡμῖν παραδεδωκότας ἑαυτοὺς 
eis δεσμά, ὅπως ἑτέρους λυτρώσονται ᾿ πολλοὶ ἑαυτοὺς ἐξέδωκαν εἰς δουλείαν, καὶ 
λαβόντες τὰς τιμὰς αὐτῶν ἑτέρους ἐψώμισαν (‘‘ We know that many of our own 
number have given themselves up to be captives, in order to ransom others ; many 
have sold themselves to slavery, and with the price of their own bodies they have 
fed others”) ; Afost. Constit., iv. 9: τὰ ἐκ Tod δικαίου κόπου ἀθροιζόμενα χρήματα 
διατάσσετε διακονοῦντες εἰς ἀγορασμοὺς τῶν ἁγίων ῥυόμενοι δούλους καὶ αἰχμαλώ- 
τους, δεσμίους, ἐπηρεαζομένους, ἥκοντας ἐκ καταδίκης, κιτ.λ. (‘* All monies accru- 
ing from honest labour do ye appoint and apportion to the redeeming of the saints, 
ransoming thereby slaves and captives, prisoners, people who are sore abused or 
condemned by tyrants,” etc.), cp. v. 1-2. In /do/ol., xxiii., Tertullian refers to 
release from imprisonment for debt, or to the efforts made by charitable brethren 
to prevent such imprisonment. When the Numidian robbers carried off the local 
Christians, the Carthaginian church soon gathered the sum of 100,000 sesterces as 
ransom-money, and declared it was ready to give still ampler aid (Cypr., 2. Ixii.), 
When the Goths captured the Christians in Cappadocia about the year 255, the 
Roman church sent contributions in aid of their ransom (Basil., 32. ad Dam. |xx.). 
See below (10) for both of these cases. The ransoming of captives continued even 
in later days to be reckoned a work of special merit. Le Blant has published a 
number of Gallic inscriptions dating from the fourth and fifth centuries, in which 
the dead person is commended because ‘‘ he ransomed prisoners,” 



“one of their poor passes from the world, one of them looks 
after him and sees to his burial, according to his means.” We 
know the great importance attached to an honourable burial in 
those days, and the pain felt at the prospect of having to forego 
this privilege. In this respect the Christian church was meeting 
a sentiment which even its opponents felt to be a human duty. 
Christians, no doubt, were expected to feel themselves superior 
to any earthly ignominy, but even they felt it was a ghastly 
thing not to be buried decently. The deacons were specially 
charged with the task of seeing that everyone was properly 
interred (Const. Ap., iii. 7), and in certain cases they did not 
restrict themselves to the limits of the brotherhood. ‘ We 
cannot bear,” says Lactantius (Jnstit., vi. 12), “ that the image 
and workmanship of God should be exposed as a prey to wild 
beasts and birds, but we restore it to the earth from which it 
was taken,” and do this office of relatives even to the body of ἃ 

1 A certain degree of luxury was even allowed to Christians ; cp, Tertull., 4/o/., 
xlii, : ‘‘ If the Arabians complain of us [for giving them no custom], let the Sabeans 
be sure that the richer and more expensive of their wares are used as largely in 
burying Christians as in fumigating the gods.” Another element in a proper 
burial was that a person should lie among his companions in the faith. Anyone 
who buried his people beside non-Christians needlessly, incurred severe blame. 
Yet about the middle of the third century we find a Spanish bishop burying his 
children among the heathen; cp. Cyprian, Z/. Ixvii. 6: ‘‘ Martialis [episcopus] 
praeter gentiliam turpia et lutulenta conviva in collegio diu frequentata filios in 
eodem collegio exterarum gentium more apud profana sepulcra deposuit et alieni- 
genis consepelivit ” (‘‘ Martialis himself frequented for long the shameful and filthy 
banquets of the heathen in their college, and placed his sons in the same college, 
after the custom of foreign nations, amid profane sepulchres, burying them along 
with strangers”), Christian graves have been found now and then in Jewish 
cemeteries. . 

2 Christians were therefore opposed to cremation, and tried to gather even the 
fragments of their brethren who had been martyred in the flames. The belief of 
the ‘‘ simplices”? about the resurrection of the body wavered a little in view of the 
burning of the body, but the theologians always silenced any doubts, though even 
they held that burning was a piece of wickedness. Cp. Zpzst. Lugd. (Eus., H.Z., 
v. I, towards the close; Tert., de Anima, li.: ‘‘Nec ignibus funerandum aiunt (z.é., 
some pagans), parcentes superfluo animae (7.¢., because particles of the soul still 
clung to the body). Alia est autem ratio pietatis istius (z.e., of Christianity), non — 
reliquiis animae adulatrix, sed crudelitatis etiam corporis nomine aversatrix, quod 
et ipsum homo non mereatur poenali exitu impendi” ; Tert., de Resurr.,i: “‘ Ego 
magis ridebo vulgus, tum quoque, cum ipsos defunctos atrocissime exurit, quos 
postmodum gulisossime nutrit..... O pietatem de crudelitate ludentem !” 
(‘‘I have greater derision for the crowd, particularly when it inhumanely burns 115 



person whom we do not know, since in their room humanity 
must step in.”’ At this point also we must include the care of 
the dead after burial. These were still regarded in part as 
destitute and fit to be supported. Oblations were presented in 
their name and for the welfare of their souls, which served as 
actual intercessions on their behalf. This primitive custom 
was undoubtedly of immense significance to the living; it 
comforted many an anxious relative, and added greatly to the 
attractive power of Christianity.” 

7. Care for slaves.—lIt is a mistake to suppose that any “slave 
question” occupied the early church. The primitive Christians 
looked on slavery with neither a more friendly nor a more hostile 
eye than they did upon the State and legal ties. They never 
dreamt of working for the abolition of the State, nor did it ever 
occur to them to abolish slavery for humane or other reasons— 
not even amongst themselves. The New Testament epistles 
already assume that Christian masters have slaves (not merely 
that pagan masters have Christian slaves), and they give no 
directions for any change in this relationship. On the contrary, 
slaves are earnestly admonished to be faithful and obedient.‘ 

dead, only to pamper them afterwards with luxurious indulgence, . . . . Out upon 
the piety which mocks its victims with cruelty !”’). The reasons which seem to have 
led Christians from the first to repudiate cremation have not been preserved. We 
can only surmise what they were. 

1 The question of the relation between the churches and the collegia tenuiorum 
(collegia funeraticia) may be left aside. Besides, during the past decade it has 
passed more and more out of notice. No real light has been thrown by such guilds 
upon the position of the churches, however convincing may be the inference that 
the rights obtained by these collegia may have been for a time available to 
Christians as well. Cp. Neumann, dm. Staat und Kirche, i. 102 f. 

? Tertullian is our first witness for this custom. It did not spring up indepen- 
dently of pagan influence, though it may have at least ove root within the Christian 
cultus itself. Tertullian attacked the common pagan feasts of the dead and the 
custom of bringing food to the graves ; but this rooted itself as early as the third 
century, and was never dislodged. 

3 The Didaché (iv. 11) even bids slaves obey their (Christian) masters és τύπῳ 
θεοῦ (‘‘ as a type of God ”’). 

4 The passages in Paul’s epistles are well known; see also 1 Peter. In his 
letter to Philemon, Paul neither expects nor asks the release of the slave Onesimus. 
The only possible sense of 1 Cor. vii. 20 f. (ἕκαστος ἐν τῇ κλήσει ἣ ἐκλήθη, ἐν 
ταύτῃ μενέτω" δοῦλος ἐκλήθης; μή σοι μελέτω" GAA’ εἰ καὶ δύνασαι ἐλεύθερος 
γενέσθαι, μᾶλλον χρῆσαι) is that the apostle counsels slaves not even to avail 
themselves of the chance of freedom, Any alteration of their position would 


Still, it would not be true to assert that primitive Christianity 
was indifferent to slaves and their condition. On the contrary, 
the church did turn her attention to them, and effected some 
change in their condition. 'This follows from such considerations 
as these :— 

(a) Converted slaves, male or female, were regarded in the full 
sense of the term as brothers and sisters from the standpoint of 
religion. Compared to this, their position in the world was 
reckoned a matter of indifference. 

(ὁ) They shared the rights of church members to the fullest 
extent. Slaves could even become clergymen, and in fact 

(c) As personalities (in the moral sense) they were to be 
just as highly esteemed as freemen. 'The sex of female slaves 
had to be respected, nor was their modesty to be outraged. 

divert their minds to the things of earth—such seems to be the writer’s meaning. 
It is far from certain whether we may infer from this passage that Christian slaves 
begged from Christian masters the chance of freedom more often than their pagan 
fellows. Christian slave-owners often appear in the literature of the second and 
third centuries. Cp, Athenag., Supp/., xxxv. ; Acta Perpetue ; εἴς. 

1 Paul is followed on this point by others; ¢.g., Tatian, Oraé., xi. ; Tertull., 
de Corona, xiii. ; and Lactantius, Zzs¢it., v. 16, where, in reply to the opponents 
who cry out, ‘‘ You too have masters and slaves! Where then is your so-called 
equality ?” the answer is given, ‘‘ Alia causa nulla est cur nobis invicem fratrum 
nomen impertiamus nisi quia pares esse nos credimus. Nam cum omnia humana 
non corpore sed spiritu metiamur, tametsi corporum sit diversa condicio, nobis 
tamen servi non sunt, sed eos et habemus et dicimus spiritu fratres, religione con- 
servos” (‘‘ Our sole reason for giving one another the name of brother is because 
we believe we are equals. For since all human objects are measured by us after 
the spirit and not after the body, although there is a diversity of condition among 
human bodies, yet slaves are not slaves to us; we deem and term them brothers 
after the spirit, and fellow-servants in religion”). De Rossi (Boll. dé Arch. Christ., 
1866, p. 24) remarks on the fact that the title ‘‘slave’” never occurs in the 
sepulchral inscriptions of Christianity. Whether this is accidental or intentional, 
is a question which I must leave undecided. On the duty of Christian masters to 
instruct their slaves in Christianity, cp. Arist., Afo/., xv.: ‘‘Slaves, male and 
female, are instructed so that they become Christians, on account of the love felt 
for them by their masters; and when this takes place, they call them brethren 
without any distinction whatsoever.” 

? The Roman presbyter or bishop, Pius, the brother of Hermas, must have 
belonged to the class of slaves. Callistus, the Roman bishop, was originally a 
slave. Cp. the eightieth canon of Elvira: ‘‘Prohibendum ut liberti, quorum 
patroni in saeculo fuerint, ad clerum non promoveantur” (‘‘It is forbidden to 
hinder freemen from being advanced to the rank of clergy, whose owners may be 
still alive ’’). 


τῶν. ieee oe. + λίκα ὕναι.. 


The same virtues were expected from slaves as from freemen, 
and consequently their virtues earned the same honour.* 
(d) Masters and mistresses were strictly charged to treat all 

“their slaves humanely,” but, on the other hand, to remember that 

1 Ample material on this point is to be found in the Acts of the Martyrs. 
Reference may be made in especial to Blandina, the Lyons martyr, and to 
Felicitas in the Acts of Perpetua. Not a few slaves rank among ‘‘ the holy 
martyrs” of the church. Unless it had been set down, who would imagine that 
Blandina was a slave—Blandina, who is held in high honour by the church, and 
whose character has such noble traits? In Euseb., Mart. Pal. (Texte τε. Unters., 
xxiv. 2. p. 78), we read: ‘* Porphyry passed for a slave of Pamphilus, but in love 
to God and in amazing confession of his faith he was a brother, nay more, a be- 
loved son, to Pamphilus, and was like his teacher in all things.” —Cp. , however, the 
penitential ordinance appointed for those astute Christian masters who had forced 
their Christian slaves to offer sacrifice during the Diocletian persecution (canons 
6 and 7 of Peter Alex., in Routh’s Reig. Sacr., iv. 29 f.). The masters are to 

_ do penance for three years καὶ ὧς ὑποκρινάμενοι καὶ ὡς καταναγκάσαντες τοὺς 

ὁμοδούλους θῦσαι, ἅτε δὴ παρακούσαντες τοῦ ἀποστόλου τὰ αὐτὰ θέλοντος ποιεῖν 
τοὺς δεσπότας τοῖς δούλοις, ἀνιέντας τὴν ἀπειλήν, εἰδότας, φησίν, ὅτι καὶ ὑμῶν καὶ 
αὐτῶν ὁ κύριός ἐστιν ἐν οὐρανοῖς, καὶ προσωπολήψια παρ᾽ αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν (Eph. 
vi. 9; then follows Col. iii, 11). . . . σκοπεῖν ὀφειλοῦσιν ὃ κατειργάσαντο θελή- 
σαντες Thy ψυχὴν ἑαυτῶν σῶσαι, of τοὺς συνδούλους ἡμῶν ἑλκύσαντες ἐπὶ εἰδωλο- 
λατρείαν δυναμένους καὶ αὐτοὺς ἐκφυγεῖν, ef τὸ δίκαιον καὶ τὴν ἰσότητα ἦσαν αὐτοῖς 
παρασχόντες, ὡς πάλιν 6 ἀπόστολος λέγει (Col. iv. 1) (‘‘ for having played the 
hypocrite and for having compelled their fellow-servants to sacrifice—in dis- 
obedience to the apostle, who enjoins masters and servants to do the same things, 
and to forbear threatening, knowing, saith he, that you and they have a Lord in 
heaven, with whom there is no respect of persons. . . . . They ought to consider 
this compulsion of theirs, due to their desire to save their own lives, by which 
they drag our fellow-servants into idolatry, when they could themselves avoid it— 
that is, if masters treated them justly and equitably, as the apostle once more 
observes”). Only a single year’s penance was imposed on slaves thus seduced. 
Tertullian, on the contrary (de /dol,, xvii.), shows that the same courage and 
loyalty was expected from Christian slaves and freedmen as from the highly born. 
The former were not to hand the wine or join in any formula when they attended 
their pagan lords at sacrifice. Otherwise they were guilty of idolatry. For 

_ attempts on the part of pagan masters to seduce their slaves from the faith, cp. 

Acta Pionit, ix., etc. 

2 A beautiful instance of the esteem and position enjoyed by a Christian female 
slave in a Christian home, is afforded by Augustine in his description of the old 
domestic (‘‘famula decrepita”) belonging to his maternal grandfather’s house, 
who had nursed his grandfather as a child (‘‘ sicut dorso grandiuscularum puellarum 
parvuli portari solent ”=as little children are often carried on the backs of older 
girls) ; z.e., she was active as early as the year 300 A.D, ‘‘On account of her 
age and her excellent character, she was highly respected by the heads of that 
Christian home. Hence the charge of her master’s daughters [2.6., including 

_ Monica] was given her, and she fulfilled her duty thoroughly [better than the 

mother did], When necessary, she was strict in restraining the girls with a holy 
firmness, and in teaching them with a sober judgment ” (‘‘ Propter senectam ac 


Christian slaves were their own brethren.! Christian slaves, for 
their part, were told not to disdain their Christian masters, 1.¢., 
they were not to regard themselves as their equals.’ 

(6) To set aslave free was looked upon, probably from the very 
beginning, as a praiseworthy action ;* otherwise, no Christian 
slave could have had any claim to be emancipated. Although 
the primitive church did not admit any such claim on their 
part, least of all any claim of this kind on the funds of the 
church, there were cases in which slaves had their ransom paid 
for out of such funds. The church never condemned the rights 
of masters over slaves as sinful ; it simply saw in them a natural 
relationship. In this sphere the source of reform lay, not in 
Christianity, but in general considerations derived from moral 
philosophy and in economic necessities. 

From one of the canons of the Council of Elvira (c. 300 a.p.), 
as well as from other minor sources, we learn that even in the 

Christian church, during the third century in particular, cases — 
unfortunately did occur in which slaves were treated with 
revolting harshness and barbarity.° In general, one has to 

mores optimas in domo christiana satis a dominis honorabatur ; unde etiam curam ~ 

filiarum dominicarum commissam diligenter gerebat, et erat in eis coercendis, 
cum opus esset, sancta severitate vehemens atque in docendis sobria prudentia,” 
Confess., ix. 8. 17). The basis of Augustine’s own piety rested on this slave ! 

1 A long series of testimonies, from the Lyons epistle onwards, witnesses to the 
fact that Christian masters had heathen slaves. Denunciations of their Christian 

masters by such slaves, and calumnies against Christian worship, cannot havé _ 

been altogether uncommon. 

2 As early as 1 Tim. vi. 1 f. It proves that Christianity must have been in 
many cases ‘‘ misunderstood ”’ by Christian slaves. 

3 Authentic illustrations of this are not available, of course. 

4 From the epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp (iv.) two inferences may be drawn: — 

(1) that slaves were ransomed with money taken from the church collections, and 
(2) that no clazm to this favour was admitted. Δούλους καὶ δούλας μὴ ὑπερηφάνει * 
ἀλλὰ μηδὲ αὐτοὶ φυσιούσθωσαν [Christian slaves could easily lose their feelings of 

deference towards Christian owners], ἀλλ᾽ els δόξαν θεοῦ πλέον δουλευέτωσαν, 

iva κρείττονος ἐλευθερίας ἀπὸ θευῦ τύχωσιν ᾿ μὴ ἐράτωσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ κοινοῦ 

ἐλευθεροῦσθαι, ἵνα μὴ δοῦλοι εὑρεθῶσιν ἐπιθυμίας (‘‘ Despise not male or female 
slaves. Yet let not these again be puffed up, but let them be all the better 
servants to the glory of God, that they may obtain a better freedom from God. 
Let them not crave to be freed at the public cost, lest they be found to be slaves 

of lust ’’), 

5 Canon v.: ‘‘Si qua femina furore zeli accensa flagris verberaverit ancillam — 

suam, ita ut intra tertium diem animam cum cruciatu effundat,” etc, (“ If any 



recollect that even as early as the second century a diminution 
of the great slave-establishment can be detected—a diminution 
which, on economic grounds, continued during the third century. 
The liberation of slaves was frequently a necessity ; it must not 
be regarded, as a rule, in the light of an act prompted by com- 
passion or brotherly feeling. 

8. Care for people visited by great calamities.—As early as 
Hebrews x. 32 f. a church is commended for having nobly stood 
the test ofa great persecution and calamity, thanks to sympathy 
and solicitous care. From that time onward, we frequently 
come across counsels to Christian brethren to show themselves 
specially active and devoted in any emergencies of distress ; not 
counsels merely, but also actual proofs that they bore fruit. We 
shall not, at present, go into cases in which churches lent aid to 
sister churches, even at a considerable distance ; these fall to be 
noticed under section 10. But some examples referring to 
calamities within a church itself may be set down at this stage 
of our discussion. 

When the plague raged in Alexandria (about 259 a.p.), 
bishop Dionysius wrote (Euseb., H.E., vii. 22): ‘The most of 
our brethren did not spare themselves, so great was their 
brotherly affection. They held fast to each other, visited the 
sick without fear, ministered to them assiduously, and served 
them for the sake of Christ. Right gladly did they perish with 
them. . . . Indeed many did die, after caring for the sick and 
giving health to others, transplanting the death of others, as it 
were, into themselves. In this way the noblest of our brethren 

mistress, in a fit of passion, scourges her handmaid, so that the latter expires 
within three days,” etc.) Canon xli, also treats of masters and slaves. We do 
not require to discuss the dispensation given by Callistus, bishop of Rome, to 
matrons for entering into sexual relations with slaves, as the object of this 
dispensation was to meet the case of high-born ladies who were bent on marriage, 
and not to admit that slaves had equal rights. Hippol. Phz/os., ix. 12: καὶ 
γυναιξὶν ἐπέτρεψεν, εἰ ἄνανδροι elev καὶ ἡλικίᾳ γε ἐκκαίοιντο avatia ἢ ἑαυτῶν ἀξίαν 
μὴ βούλοιντο καθαιρεῖν διὰ τὸ νομίμως γαμηθῆναι, ἔχειν ἕνα ὅν ἂν αἱρήσωνται, 
σύγκοιτον, εἴτε οἰκέτην, εἴτε ἐλεύθερον, καὶ τοῦτον κρίνειν ἀντὶ ἀνδρὸς μὴ νόμῳ 
γεγαμημένην (‘‘He even permitted women, if unmarried and inflamed with a 
passion unworthy of their age, or unwilling to forfeit their position for the sake 
of a legal marriage, to have any one they liked as a bedfellow, either slave or 
free, and to reckon him their husband although he was not legally married to 


died, including some presbyters and deacons and people of the 
highest reputation. ... . Quite the reverse was it with the © 
heathen. ‘They abandoned those who began to sicken, fled from _ 
their dearest friends, threw out the sick when half dead into the 
streets, and let the dead lie unburied.” | 

A similar tale is related by Cyprian of the plague at Carthage. 
He exclaims to the pagan Demetrianus (x.): “ Pestem et luem 
criminaris, cum peste ipsa et lue vel detecta sint vel aucta 
crimina singulorum, dum nec infirmis exhibetur misericordia et 
defunctis avaritia inhiat ac rapina. Idem ad pietatis obsequium 
timidi,' ad impia lucra temerarii, fugientes morientium funera 
et adpetentes spolia mortuorum (“ You blame plague and 
disease, when plague and disease either swell or disclose the — 
crimes of individuals, no mercy being shown to the weak, and { 
avarice and rapine gaping greedily for the dead. The same — 
people are sluggish in the discharge of the duties of affection, — 
who rashly seek impious gains ; they shun the deathbeds of the 
dying, but make for the spoils of the dead”). Cyprian’s advice 
is seen in his treatise de Mortalitate. His conduct, and the way 
he inspired other Christians by his example, are narrated by his 
biographer Pontianus (Vita, ix. f.): “ Adgregatam primo in loco 
plebem de misericordiae bonis instruit. Docet divinae lectionis 
exemplis .... tunc deinde subiungit non esse mirabile, si 
nostros tantum debito caritatis obsequio foveremus; cum enim 
perfectum posse fieri, qui plus aliquid publicano vel ethnico 
fecerit, qui malum bono vincens et divinae clementiae instar 
exercens inimicos quoque dilexerit. . .. . Quid Christiana plebs 
faceret, cui de fide nomen est? distributa sunt ergo continuo — 
pro qualitate hominum atque ordinum ministeria [organized — 
charity, then]. Multi qui paupertatis beneficio sumptus ex- 
hibere non poterant, plus sumptibus exhibebant, compensantes — 
proprio labore mercedem divitiis omnibus cariorem . . . . fiebat 
itaque exuberantium operum largitate, quod bonum est ad 
omnes, non ad solos domesticos fidei (“The people being 
assembled together, he first of all urges on them the benefits of 

1 Cp. Cyprian, 267 Pont., ix.: ‘‘Jacebant interim tota civitate vicatim non 
jam corpora, sed cadavera plurimorum” (‘‘ Meanwhile all over the city lay, not — 
bodies now, but the carcases of many”). 


mercy. By means of examples drawn from the sacred lessons, 
he teaches them... . . Then he proceeds to add that there is 
nothing remarkable in cherishing merely our own people with 
the due attentions of love, but that one might become perfect 
who should do something more than heathen men or publicans, 
one who, overcoming evil with good, and practising a merciful 
kindness like to that of God, should love his enemies as well. 
. . . . What should a Christian people do, a people whose very 
name was derived from faith? The contributions are always 
distributed then according to the degree of the men and of their 
_ respective ranks. Many who, on the score of poverty, could not 
make any show of wealth, showed far more than wealth, as they 
made up by personal labour an offering dearer than all the 
riches in the world. Thus the good done was done to all men, 
and not merely to the household of faith, so richly did the good 
works overflow ”). 

We hear exactly the same story of practical sympathy and 
self-denying love displayed by Christians even to outsiders, in 
the great plague which occurred during the reign of Maximinus 
Daza (Eus., H.E., ix. 8): ‘“'Then did they show themselves to 
the heathen in the clearest light. For the Christians were the 
only people who amid such terrible ills showed their fellow- 
feeling and humanity by their actions. Day by day some would 
busy themselves with attending to the dead and burying them 
(for there were numbers to whom no one else paid any heed) ; 
others gathered m one spot all who were afflicted by hunger 
throughout the whole city, and gave bread to them all. When 
this became known, people glorified the Christians’ God, and, 
convinced by the very facts, confessed the Christians alone were 
truly pious and religious.” 

It may be inferred with certainty, as Kusebius himself avows, 
that cases of this kind made a deep impression upon those who 
were not Christians, and that they gave a powerful impetus to 
_ the propaganda. 

9. The churches furnishing work and imsisting wpon work.— 
Christianity at the outset spread chiefly among people who had 
to work hard. The new religion did not teach its votaries “ the 
dignity of labour,” or “the noble pleasure invariably afforded 


by work.” What it inculcated was just the duty of work.! “If 
any will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. iii. 10). Over 
and again it was enunciated that the duty of providing for 
others was conditioned by their incapacity for work. The 
brethren had soon to face the fact that some of their number 
were falling into restless and lazy habits, as well as the sadder 
fact that these very people were selfishly trying to trade upon 
the charity of their neighbours. This was so notorious that 
even in the brief compass of the Didaché there is a note of 
precautions which are to be taken to checkmate such attempts, 
while in Lucian’s description of the Christians he singles out, as 
one of their characteristic traits, a readiness to let cunning im- 
postors take advantage of their brotherly love.” 

Christianity cannot be charged at any rate with the desire of 
promoting mendicancy or with underestimating the duty of 
work.® Even the charge of being “infructuosi in negotiis” 
(of no use in practical affairs) was repudiated by Tertullian. 
“How so?” he asks. “How can that be when such people 
dwell beside you, sharing your way of life, your dress, your 
habits, and the same needs of life? We are no Brahmins or 
Indian gymnosophists, dwelling in woods and exiled from life. 
. . . . Westay beside you in this world, making use of the forum, 
the provision-market, the bath, the booth, the workshop, the 
inn, the weekly market, and all other places of commerce. We 
sail with you, fight at your side, till the soil with you, and 
traffic with you; we likewise join our technical skill to that 
of others, and make our works public property for your use” 
(Apol, xlii.). Even clerics were not exempted from making a 

1 At the same time there was a quiet undercurrent of feeling expressed by the 
maxim that absolute devotion to religion was a higher plane of life—‘‘ The 
heavenly Father who feeds the ravens and clothes the lilies will provide for us.” 
Apostles and prophets (with the heroes of asceticism, of course, from the very 
outset) did not require to work. The idea was that their activity in preaching 
jJemanded their entire life and occupied all their time. 

2 The pseudo-Clementine de Virgin., i. 11, contains a sharp warning against 
the ‘‘ otiosi,” or lazy folk, who chatter about religion instead of attending to their 

3 Cp. 2 Thess. iii. 6: παραγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου I. X. στέλλεσθαι 
ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἀδελφοῦ ἀτάκτως περιπατοῦντος, Cp. ver, 12. 

4 Tertullian at this point is suppressing his personal views ; he speaks from the 
standpoint of the majority of Christians. In reality, as we see from the treatise 




livelihood,! and admirable sayings on the need of labour occur 
in Clement of Alexandria as well as in other writers. We have 
already observed (pp. 155 f.) that one incentive to work was 
found in the consideration that money could thus be gained for 
the purpose of supporting other people, and this idea was by no 
means thrown out at random. Its frequent repetition, from the 
epistle to the Ephesians onwards, shows that people recognized 
in it a powerful motive for the industrious life. It was also 
declared in simple and stirring language that the labourer was 
worthy of his hire, and a fearful judgment was prophesied for 
those who defrauded workmen of their wages (see especially Jas. 
v. 4f.). It is indeed surprising that work was spoken of in such 
a sensible way, and that the duty of work was inculcated so 
earnestly, in a society which was so liable to fanaticism and 

But we have not yet alluded to what was the really noticeable 
feature in this connection. We have already come across several 
passages which would lead us to infer that, together with the 
recognition that every Christian brother had the right to a bare 
provision for livelihood, the early Christian church also admitted 
its obligation to secure this minimum either by furnishing him 
with work or else by maintaining him. Thus we read in the 
pseudo-Clementine homilies (cp. Clem., viii.): ‘For those able 

to work, provide work; and to those incapable of work, be 

charitable.”2 Cyprian also (Ep. ii.) assumes that if the church 

de Idololatria, he was convinced that there was hardly a single occupation or 
business in which any Christian could engage without soiling his conscience with 

1 The earliest restrictions on this point occur in the canons of the Synod of 
Elvira (canon xix.), They are very guarded, ‘‘ Episcopi, presbyteres et diacones 
de locis suis [this is the one point of the prohibition] negotiandi causa non 
discedant . . . . sane ad victum 5101 conquirendum aut filium, aut libertum, aut 
mercenarium, aut amicum, aut quemlibet mittant ; et si voluerint negotiari, intra 
provinciam negotientur ” (‘‘ Let no bishop or presbyter or deacon leave his place 
for the purpose of trading . . . . he can, of course, send his son, or his freedman, 
or his hired servant, or a friend, or anyone else, to procure provisions ; but if he 
wishes to transact business, he must confine himself to his own sphere ”), 

2 Παρέχοντες μετὰ πάσης εὐφροσύνης τὰς Tpopds.... τοῖς ἀτέχνοις διὰ τῶν 
ἐπιτηδευμάτων ἐννούμενοι τὰς προφάσεις τῆς ἀναγκαίας τροφῆς τεχνίτῃ ἔργον, 
ἀδρανεῖ ἔλεος (“* Providing supplies with all kindliness . .. . furnishing those 

who have no occupation with employment, and thus with the necessary means of 
livelihood. To the artificer, work ; to the incapable, alms”), 

forbids some teacher of dramatic art to practise his profession, 
it must look after him, or, in the event of his being unable to — 
do anything else, provide him with the necessaries of life. We 
were not aware, however, if this was really felt to be a duty by 
the church at large, till the discovery of the Didaché,. This threw 
quite a fresh light on the situation. In the Didaché (xii.) it is — 
ordained that no brother who is able to work is to be maintained 
by any church for more than two or three days. The church 
accordingly had the right of getting rid of such brethren. But 
the reverse side of this right was a duty. “If any brother has 
a trade, let him follow that trade and earn the bread he eats. 
If he has no trade, exercise your discretion in arranging for him — 
to live among you as a Christian, but not in idleness. Tf he will — 
not do this (ὁ.6.. engage in the work with which you furnish 
him), he is trafficking with Christ (χριστέμπορος). Beware of — 
men like that.” It is beyond question, therefore, that a 
Christian brother could demand work from the church, and that 
the church had to furnish him with work. What bound the 
members together, then, was not merely the duty of supporting 
one another—-that was simply the witima ratio; it was the fact 
that they formed a guild of workers, in the sense that the — 
churches had to provide work for a brother whenever he re- 
quired it. This fact seems to me of great importance, from the | 
social standpoint. The churches were also labour unions. The — 
case attested by Cyprian proves that there is far more here than © | 
a merely rhetorical maxim. ‘The Church did prove in this way 
a refuge for people in distress who were prepared to work. Its 
attractive power was consequently intensified, and from the — 
economic standpoint we must attach very high value to a union — 
which provided work for those who were able to work, and at the — 
same time kept hunger from those who were unfit for any labour. — 

1 (Θ᾽ paenurian talis et necessitatem paupertatis obtendit, potest inter ceteros — 
qui ecclesiae alimentis sustinentur huius quoque necessitatis adiuvari, si tamen — 
contentus sit frugalioribus et innocentibus cibis nec putet salario se esse redi- 
mendum, ut a peccatis cesset” (‘‘Should such a person allege penury and the 
necessities of poverty, his wants may also be met among those of the other people — 
who are maintained by the church’s aliment—provided always that he is satisfied 
with plain and frugal fare. Nor is he to imagine he must be redeemed by means 
of an allowance of money, in order to cease from sins”’), é 




10. Care for brethren on a journey (hospitality) and for 
churches in poverty or peril.i—The diaconate went outside the 
circle of the individual church when it deliberately extended its 
labours to include the relief of strangers, i.e., in the first instance 
of Christian brethren on their travels. In our oldest account 
of Christian worship on Sunday (Justin, Apol., I. lxvii.; see 
above, p. 153), strangers on their travels are included in the list 
of those who receive support from the church-collections. This 
form of charity was thus considered part of the church’s business, 
instead of merely being left to the goodwill of individuals ; 
_ though people had recourse in many ways to the private method, 
while the virtue of hospitality was repeatedly inculcated on the 
faithful.2 In the first epistle of Clement to the Corinthian 

11 have based this section on a study of my own which appeared in the 
Monatsschrift f. Diakonie und innere Mission (Dec. 1879, Jan. 1880); but, as 
the relations of the individual church with Christendom in general fall to be 
noticed in this section, I have thought it appropriate to treat the subject in greater 
detail. The ideal background of all this enterprise and activity may be seen in 
Tertullian’s remark (de Prescr., xx.) : ‘‘Omnes ecclesiae una; probant unitatem 
ecclesiarum communicatio pacis et appellatio fraternitatis et contesseratio hospi- 
talitatis” (‘‘ All churches are one, and the unity of the churches is shown by 
their peaceful intercommunion, the title of brethren, and the bond of hospitality ”), 

ὁ Rom. xii. 13, ‘‘Communicating to the necessities of the saints, given to 
hospitality”; 1 Pet. iv. 9, ‘‘ Using hospitality one towards another without 
murmuring”; Heb. vi. 10, xiii. 2, ‘‘ Forget not to show love to strangers, for 
thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Individuals are frequently 
commended by Paul to the hospitality of the church; ¢.g., Rom. xvi. I f., 
** Receive her in the Lord, as decometh the saints.” See also 3 John 5-8, In the 
** Shepherd” of Hermas (Mand., viii. 10) hospitality is distinctly mentioned in 
the catalogue of virtues, with this remarkable comment: ἐν yap τῇ φιλοξενίᾳ 
εὑρίσκεται ἀγαθοποίησίς ποτε (‘for benevolence from time to time is found in 
hospitality ”), while in Sz, viii. 10, 3, praise is assigned to those Christians who 
els τοὺς οἴκους αὑτῶν ἡδεῶς ὑπεδέξαντο τοὺς δούλους Tod θεοῦ (‘‘ gladly welcomed 
God’s servants into their houses”), Aristides, in his Afo/ogy (xv.), says that if 
Christians ‘‘ see any stranger, they take him under their roof and rejoice over him 
as over a very brother” (ξένον εὰν ἴδωσιν, ὑπὸ στέγην εἰσάγουσι καὶ χαίρουσιν ἐπ᾽ 

᾿ αὐτῷ ὡς ἐπὶ ἀδελφῷ ἀληθινῷ). The exercise of hospitality by private individuals 

towards Christian brethren is assumed by Tertullian to be a duty which no one 
dare evade; for, in writing to his wife (ad Uxor., ii. 4), he warns her against 
marrying a heathen, should he (Tertullian) predecease her, on the ground that no 

᾿ Christian brother would get a spiritual reception in an alien household. But 
' hospitality was inculcated especially upon officials of the church, such as elders 
_ (bishops) and deacons, who practised this virtue in the name of the church at 
large; cp. 1 Tim. iii, 2, Tit. i, 8 (1 Tim. v. 10). In Hermas (Sim., ix. 27. 2) 
_ hospitable bishops form a special class among the saints, since ‘‘they gladly 
_ received God’s servants into their houses at all times, and without hypocrisy.” In 

VOL. 1. 


church, it is particularly noted, among the distinguishing virtues 
of the church, that anyone who had stayed there praised their 
splendid sense of hospitality.1_ But during the early centuries 
of Christianity it was the Roman church more than any other 
which was distinguished by the generosity with which it 
practised this virtue. In one document from the reign of 
Marcus Aurelius, a letter of Dionysius the bishop of Corinth to 
the Roman church, it is acknowledged that the latter has 
maintained its primitive custom of showing kindness to foreign 
brethren. ‘“ Your worthy bishop Soter has not merely kept up 
this practice, but even extended it, by aiding the saints with 
rich supplies, which he sends from time to time, and also by 
addressing blessed words of comfort to brethren coming up to 
Rome, like a loving father to his children” (Eus., H.E., iv. 23. 
10). We shall return to this later on; meanwhile it may be 

the Didaché a comparatively large amount of space is taken up with directions 
regarding the care of travellers, and Cyprian’s interest in strangers is attested by 
his seventh letter, written to his clergy at Carthage from his place of retreat during 
the Decian persecution, He-writes: ΚΙ beg you will attend carefully to the 
widows, and sick people, and all the poor. You may also pay the expenses of 
any strangers who may be in need, out of my own portion which I left with my 
fellow-presbyter Rogatianus. In case it should be all used, I hereby forward by 
the hands of Naricus the acolyte another sum of money, so that the sufferers may 
be dealt with more promptly and liberally” (‘‘ Viduarum et infirmorum et 
omnium pauperum curam peto diligenter habeatis, sed et peregrinis si qui 
indigentes fuerint sumptus suggeratis de quantitate mea propria quam apud 
Rogatianum compresbyterum nostrum dimisi, Quae quantitas ne forte iam 
erogata sit, misi eidem per Naricum acoluthum aliam portionem, ut largius et 
promptius circa laborantes fiat operatio”). Cp. also Afost. Const., iii. 3 (p. 98, 
9 f., ed. Lagarde), and £~. Clem. ad Jacob. (p. 9, 10 f., ed. Lagarde): τοὺς 
ξένους μετὰ πάσης προθυμίας εἰς τοὺς ἑαυτῶν οἴκους λαμβάνετε (‘‘ Receive 
strangers into your homes with all readiness”), In his satire on the death of 
Peregrinus (xvi.), Lucian describes how his hero, on becoming a Christian, was amply 
provided for on his travels; ‘‘ Peregrinus thus started out for the second time, 
and betook himself to travelling ; he had an ample allowance from the Christians, 

who constituted themselves his bodyguard, so that he lived in clover. Thus for j 

some time he provided for himself in this fashion.” From the pseudo-Clementine 
epistle de Virginttate one also learns to appreciate the appeal and exercise of 
hospitality. Finally, Julian (ZZ. ad Arsac.) emphasises 7 περὶ τοὺς ξένους 
φιλανθρωπία among Christians, and wishes that his own party would imitate it 
(see above, p. 162). 

1 1 Clem, i. 2: rls yap παρεπιδημήσας πρὸς ὑμᾶς. . . . Td μεγαλοπρεπὲς τῆς 
φιλοξενίας ὑμῶν ἦθος οὐκ ἐκήρυξεν (‘What person who has sojourned among 
you... . has not proclaimed your splendid, hospitable disposition?”); cep, 
above, p. 152. 


pointed out, in this connection, that the Roman church owed 
its rapid rise to supremacy in Western Christendom, not simply 
to its geographical position within the capital of the empire, or 
to the fact of its having been the seat of apostolic activity 
throughout the West, but also to the fact that it recognized 
the special obligation of caring for Christians in general, which 
fell to it as the church of the imperial capital. A living interest 
in the collective church of Christ throbbed with peculiar intensity 
throughout the Roman church, as we shall see, from the very 
outset, and the practice of hospitality was one of its manifesta- 
tions. At a time when Christianity was still a homeless re- 
ligion, the occasional travels of the brethren were frequently the 
means of bringing churches together which otherwise would 
have had no common tie; while in an age when Christian 
captives were being dragged off, and banished to distant spots 
throughout the empire, and when brethren in distress sought 
shelter and solace, the practical proof of hospitality must have 
been specially telling. As early as the second century one 
bishop of Asia Minor even wrote a book upon this virtue." 
So highly was it prized within the churches that it was put next 
to faith as the genuine proof of faith. ‘For the sake of his 
faith and hospitality, Abraham had a son given him in his old 
age.” “For his hospitality and piety was Lot saved from 
Sodom.” “For the sake of her faith and hospitality was Rahab 
_ saved.” Such are the examples of which, in these very words, 
_ the Roman church reminds her sister at Corinth.2 Nor was this 
exercise of hospitality merely an aid in passing. The obligation 
of work imposed by the Christian church has been already 
mentioned (cp. pp. 173 f.); if any visitors wished to settle down, 
_ they had to take up some work, as is plain from the very pro- 
vision made for such cases. Along roads running through 
_ waste country hospices were erected. ‘The earliest case of this 
occurs in the Acta Archelai® (fourth century). 
It was easy to take advantage of a spirit so obliging and 

1 Melito of Sardes, according to Eusebius (7. Z., iv. 26. 2). 

Εν ΟἾξπι, Σ᾿, 7, xi. 1, xii, I. 

* Ch. iv. : ‘* Si quando veluti peregrinans ad hospitium pervenisset, quae quidem 
᾿ diversoria hospitalissimus Marcellus instruxerat,” 


unsparing (e.g., the case of Proteus Peregrinus, and especially 
the churches’ sad experience of so-called prophets and teachers). 
Heretics could creep in, and so could loafers or impostors. We 
note, accordingly, that definite precautions were taken against 
these at quite an early period. 'The new arrival is to be tested 
to see whether or not he is a Christian (cp. 2 and 3 John; 
Did., xii.). In the case of an itinerant prophet, his words are 
to be compared with his actions. No brother is to remain idle 
in any place for more than two days, or three at the very most ; 
after that, he must either leave or labour (Did., xii.). Later 
on, any brother on a journey was required to bring with him a 
passport from his church at home. ‘Things must have come to 
a sad pass when (as the Didaché informs us) it was decreed that 
any visitor must be adjudged a false prophet without further 
ado, if during an ecstasy he ordered a meal and then partook 
of it, or if in an ecstasy he asked for money. Many a traveller, 
however, who desired to settle down, did not come with empty 
hands; such persons did not ask, they gave. Thus we know 
(see above) that when Marcion came from Pontus and joined 

the Roman church, he contributed 200,000 sesterces to its funds 

(Tert., de Preescr., xxx.). Still, such cases were the exception ; 
as a rule, visitors were in need of assistance. 

Care lavished on brethren on a journey blossomed naturally 
into a sympathy and care for any distant churches in poverty 

or peril. ‘The keen interest shown in a guest could not cease — 
when he left the threshold of one’s house or passed beyond the — 
city gates. And more than this, the guest occupied the posi- 
tion of a representative to any church at which he arrived ; he © 
was a messenger to them from some distant circle of brethren — 
who were probably entire strangers and were yet related to — 
them. His account of the distress and suffering of his own — 

church, or of its growth and spiritual gifts, was no foreign news. 
The primitive churches were sensible that their faith and calling 
bound them closely together in this world; they felt, as the 

apostle enjoined, that “if one member suffer, all the members — 
suffer with it, while if one member is honoured, all the members — 

rejoice with 1a (1 Cor. xii. 26). And there is no doubt what-— 
ever that the consciousness of this was most vigorous and vital 



in the very ages during which no external bond as yet united 
the various churches, the latter standing side by side in almost 
entire independence of each other. ‘These were the ages when 
the primitive article of the common symbol, “I believe in one 
holy church,” was really nothing more than an article of faith. 
And of course the effect of the inward ties was all the stronger 
when people were participating in a common faith which found © 
expression ere long in a brief and vigorous confession, or practis- 
ing the same love and patience and Christian discipline, or 
turning their hopes in common to that glorious consummation 
of Christ’s kingdom of which they had each received the earnest 
and the pledge. ‘These common possessions stimulated brotherly 
love; they made strangers friends, and brought the distant 
near. ‘* By secret signs and marks they manage to recognize 
one another, loving each other almost before they are ac- 
quainted”; such is the description of Christians given by the 
pagan Cecilius (Min. Felix, ix. 3). Changes afterwards took 
place; but this vital sense of belonging to one brotherhood never 
wholly disappeared. 

In the great prayers of thanksgiving and supplication offered 
every Sabbath by the churches, there was a fixed place assigned 
to intercession for the whole of Christendom throughout the 
earth. Before very long this kindled the consciousness that 
every individual member belonged to the holy unity of Christen- 
dom, just as it also kept them mindful of the services which 
they owed to the general body. In the epistles and documents 
of primitive Christianity, wherever the church-prayers emerge 
their cecumenical character becomes clear and conspicuous.! 
Special means of intercourse were provided by epistles, circular 
letters, collections of epistles, the transmission of acts or of 
official records, or by travellers and special messengers. When 
matters of importance were at stake, the bishops themselves went 
forth to settle controversial questions or to arrange a common 
basis of agreement. It is not our business in these pages to 
describe all this varied intercourse. We shall confine ourselves 
to the task of gathering and explaining those passages in which 
one church comes to the aid of another in any case of need. 

1 Cp. 1 Clem. lix. 2 f. with my notes ad ἦρε. Polyc., Phil., xii. 2 f. 


Poverty, sickness, persecution, and suffering of all kinds formed 
one class of troubles which demanded constant help on the part 
of churches that were better off; while, in a different direction, 

assistance was required in those internal crises of doctrine and — 

of conduct which might threaten a church and in fact endanger 
its very existence. Along both of these lines the brotherly love 
of the churches had to prove its reality. 

The first case of one church supporting another occurs at the 
very beginning of the apostolic age. In Acts xi. 27 f. we read 
that Agabus in Antioch foretold a famine. On the news of this, 
the young church at Antioch made a collection on behalf of the 
poor brethren in Judzea, and despatched the proceeds to them 
by the hands of Barnabas and Paul.’ It was a Gentile Christian 
church which was the first, so far as we are aware, to help a 
sister church in her distress. Shortly after this, the brotherly 

love felt by young Christian communities drawn from pagans in — 
Asia and Europe is reported to have approved itself on a still — 
wider scale. Even after the famine had passed, the mother — 

church at Jerusalem continued poor. Why, we do not know. 
An explanation has been sought in the early attempt by which 
that church is said to have introduced a voluntary community 
of goods; it was the failure of this attempt, we are to believe, 
that left the local church impoverished. ‘This is merely a vague 
conjecture. Nevertheless, the poverty at Jerusalem remains a 
fact. At the critical conference in Jerusalem, when the three 
pillar-apostles definitely recognized Paul’s mission to the 
Gentiles, the latter pledged himself to remember the poor 
saints at Jerusalem in distant lands; and the epistles to the 
Galatians, the Corinthians, and the Romans, show how widely 

and faithfully the apostle discharged this obligation. His 
position in this matter was by no means easy. He had made ~ 

himself responsible for a collection whose value depended 
entirely on the voluntary devotion of the churches which he 
founded. But he was sure he could rely on them, and in this 

he did not deceive himself. Paul’s churches made his concerns — 

1 No doubt, the account (in Acts) of the Antiochene donation and of the 

journey of Barnabas and Paul to Jerusalem does lie open to critical suspicion (see 

Overbeck, ad /oc.). 

se ee ee ee 

SO a Dag i le Sal lh lh age a ν. 

ae 2S 


their own, and money for the brethren far away at Jerusalem 
was collected in Galatia, Macedonia, and Achaia. Even when 
the apostle had to endure the prospect of all his work in Corinth 
being endangered by a severe local crisis, he did not fail to 
remember the business of the collection along with more 
important matters. The local arrangements for it had almost 
come to a standstill by the time he wrote, and the aim of his 
vigorous, affectionate, and graceful words of counsel to the 
church is to revive the zeal which had been allowed to cool amid 
their party quarrels (2 Cor. viii. 9). Not long afterwards he is 
able to tell the Romans that “those of Macedonia and Achaia 
freely chose to make a certain contribution for the poor saints at 
Jerusalem. 'They have done it willingly, and indeed it was a 
debt. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their 
spiritual things, they owe it to them also to minister to them 
in secular things” (Rom. xv. 26 f.). In this collection Paul 
saw a real duty of charity which rested on the Gentile churches, 
and one has only to realize the circumstances under which the 
money was gathered in order to understand the meaning it 
possessed for the donors themselves. As yet, there was no 
coming or going between the Gentile and the Judean Christians, 
though the former had to admit that the latter were one with 
themselves as brethren and as members of a single church. The 
churches in Asia and Europe were imitators of the churches of 
God in Judea (1 Thess. ii. 14), yet they had no fellowship in 
worship, life, or customs. This collection formed, therefore, 
the one visible expression of that brotherly unity which other- 
wise was rooted merely in their common faith. This was what 
lent it a significance of its own. For a considerable period 
this devotion of the Gentile Christians to their distressed 
brethren in Jerusalem was the sole manifestation, even in 
visible shape, of the consciousness that all Christians shared an 
inner fellowship. We do not know how long the contributions 
were kept up. The great catastrophes which occurred in 
Palestine after 65 a.p. had a disastrous effect at any rate upon 
the relations between Gentile Christians and their brethren in 
Jerusalem and Palestine.'--Forty years later the age of perse- 

1 The meaning of Heb. vi. 10 is uncertain. .I may observe at this point that 


cutions burst upon the churches, though no general persecution 
occurred until the middle of the third century. When some 
churches were in distress, their possessions seized’ and their 
existence imperilled, the others could not feel happy in their 
own undisturbed position. Succour of their persecuted brethren 
seemed to them a duty, and it was a duty from which they did 
not shrink. Justin (loc. cit.) tells us that the maintenance of 
imprisoned Christians was one of the regular objects to which 
the church collections were devoted, a piece of information 
which is corroborated and enlarged by the statement of 
Tertullian, that those who languished in the mines or were 
exiled to desert islands or lay in prison all received monies from 
the church.? Neither statement explains if it was only members 
of the particular church in question who were thus supported. 
This, however, is inherently improbable, and there are express 
statements to the contrary, including one from a pagan source. 
Dionysius of Corinth (Eus., H.E., iv. 23. 10) writes thus to the 

Roman Christians about the year 170: “From the very first. 

you have had this practice of aiding all the brethren in various 
ways and of sending contributions to many churches in every 
city, thus in one case relieving the poverty of the needy, or in 
_ another providing for brethren in the mines. By these gifts, 
which you have sent from the very first, you Romans keep up 
the hereditary customs of the Romans, a practice your bishop 
Soter has not merely maintained but even extended.” A 
hundred years later Dionysius, the bishop of Alexandria, in 
writing to Stephen the bishop of Rome, has occasion to mention 
the churches in Syria and Arabia. Whereupon he remarks in 
passing, “ΤῸ them you send help regularly, and you have just 

more than three centuries later Jerome employed this Pauline collection as an 
argument to enforce the duty of all Christians throughout the Roman empire to 
support the monastic settlements at the sacred sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. 
In his treatise against Vigilantius (xili.), who had opposed the squandering of 
money to maintain monks in Judza, Jerome argues from 2 Cor. viii., etc., without 
more ado, as a scriptural warrant for such collections, 

1 Even by the time of Domitian, Christian churches were liable to poverty, 
owing to the authorities seizing their goods ; cp. Heb. x. 34 (if the epistle belongs 
to this period), and Eus., H.Z., iii. 17. 

2 Tert., Afol., xxxix.: ‘‘Si qui in metallis et si qui in insulis, vel in custodiis, 
dumtaxat ex causa dei sectae, alumni suae confessionis fiunt ” (cp. p. 153). 

—— re a ΨΥ 

_ written them another letter” (Eus., H.E., vii. 5. 2). Basil the 
Great informs us that under bishop Dionysius (259-269 a.p.) 
_ the Roman church sent money to Cappadocia to purchase the 
~ freedom of some Christian captives from the barbarians, an act 
_ of kindness which was still remembered with gratitude in 
Cappadocia at the close of the fourth century.1 Thus Corinth, 
Syria, Arabia, and Cappadocia, all of them churches in the 
East, unite in testifying to the praise of the church at Rome; 
and we can understand, from the language of Dionysius of 
_ Corinth, how Ignatius could describe that church as the 
προκαθημένη τῆς ἀγάπης, “the leader of love.”* Nor were 
other churches and their bishops behindhand in the matter. 
Similar stories are told of the church at Carthage and its 
_ bishop Cyprian. From a number of letters written shortly 
_ before his execution, it is quite clear that Cyprian sent money 
to provide for the Christians who then lay captive in Numidia 
(Ep. |xxvi.—lxxix.), and elsewhere in his correspondence there is 
_ similar evidence of his care for stranger Christians and foreign 
churches. The most memorable of his letters, in this respect, 
is that addressed to the bishops of Numidia in 253 a.p. The 
latter had informed him that wild hordes of robbers had invaded 
the country and carried off many Christians of both sexes into 
captivity. Whereupon Cyprian instituted a collection on their 
behalf and forwarded the proceeds to the bishops along with 
the following letter (Zp. Ixii.). It is the most elaborate and 
important document from the first three centuries bearing upon 
the support extended to one church by another, and for that 
reason we may find space for it at this point. 
‘Cyprian to Januarius, Maximus, Proculus, Victor, Modianus, 
Nemesianus, Nampulus, and Honoratus, the brethren: greeting. 
“ With sore anguish of soul and many a tear have I read the 
letter which in your loving solicitude you addressed to me, dear 
brethren, with regard to the imprisonment of our brothers and 
sisters. Who would not feel anguish over such misfortunes ? 


1 Basil, 22. ad Damasum Papam (ἸΧΧ). 
? Ign., ad Rom., procemium. Cp. Zahn, ad Joc. : ‘‘ In caritatis operibus semper 
primum locum sibi. vindicavit ecclesia Romana” (‘‘ The Roman church always 
justified her primacy in works of charity’), 


Who would not make his brother’s grief his own? For, says 
the apostle Paul: Should one member suffer, all the others 
suffer along with it ; and should one member rejoice, the others — 
rejoice with it also. And in another place he says: Who is 
weak, and I am not weak? We must therefore consider the — 
present imprisonment of our brethren as our imprisonment, 
reckoning the grief of those in peril as our grief. We form 
a single body in our union, and we ought to be stirred and 
strengthened by religious duty as well as by love to redeem our 
members the brethren. 

“For as the apostle Paul once more declares: Know ye not | 
that ye are God’s temple and that the Holy Spirit dwelleth in 
you? ‘Though love failed to stir us to succour the brethren, 
we must in this case consider that it is temples of God who are 
imprisoned, nor dare we by our procrastination and neglect of 
fellow-feeling allow temples of God to remain imprisoned for 
any length of time, but must put forth all our energies, and 
with all speed manage by mutual service to deserve the grace 
of Christ our Lord, our Judge, our God. For since the apostle — 
Paul says: So many of you as are baptized into Christ have — 
put on Christ, we must see Christ in our imprisoned brethren, — 
redeeming from the peril of imprisonment him who redeemed | 
us from the peril of death. He who took us from the jaws of 
the devil, who. bought us with his blood upon the cross, who 
now abides and dwells in us, he is now to be redeemed by us 
for a sum of money from the hands of the barbarians. . . . . 
Will not the feeling of humanity and the sense of united love 
incline each father among you to look upon those prisoners as 
his sons, every husband to feel, with anguish for the marital tie, - 
that his wife languishes in that imprisonment?” Then, after | 
an account of the special dangers incurred by the consecrated 
“virgins ”"—“ our church, having weighed and _ sorrowfully 
examined all those matters in accordance with your letter, has — 
gathered donations for the brethren speedily, freely, and — 
liberally ; for while, according to its powers of faith, it is ever — 
ready for any work of God, it has been raised to a special pitch 
of charity on this occasion by the thought of all this suffering. 
For since the Lord says in his gospel: I was sick and ye visited 


me, with what ampler reward for our alms will he now say: 
I was in prison and ye redeemed me? And since again he says : 
I was in prison and ye visited me, how much better will it be 
for us on the day of judgment, when we are to receive the 
Lord’s reward, to hear him say: I was in the dungeon of 
imprisonment, in bonds and fetters among the barbarians, and 
_ ye rescued me from that prison of slavery! Finally, we thank 
you heartily for summoning us to share your trouble and your 
noble and necessary act of love, and for offering us a rich 
harvest-field wherein to scatter the seeds of our hope, in the 
expectation of reaping a very plentiful harvest from this 
heavenly and helpful action. We transmit to you a sum of a 
hundred thousand sesterces [close upon £1000] collected and 
contributed by our clergy and people here in the church over 
which by God’s mercy we preside ; this you will dispense in the 
proper quarter at your own discretion. 

“In conclusion, we trust that nothing like this will occur in 
future, but that, guarded by the power of God, our brethren 
_may henceforth be quit of all such perils. Still, should the 
like occur again, for a test of love and faith, do not hesitate to 
write of it to us; be sure and certain that while our own church 
and the whole of the church pray fervently that this may not 
recur, they will gladly and generously contribute even if it does 
take place once more. In order that you may remember in 
prayer our brethren and sisters who have taken so prompt and 
liberal a share in this needful act of love, praying that they may 
be ever quick to aid, and in order also that by way of return 
you may present them in your prayers and sacrifices, I add 
herewith the names of all. Further, I have subjoined the 
names of my colleagues (the bishops) and fellow-priests, who 
like myself were present and made such contributions as they 
could afford in their own name and in the name of their people ; 
I have also noted and forwarded their small sums along with 
our own total. It is your duty—faith and love alike require it 
—to remember all these in your prayers and supplications. 

‘“‘ Dearest brethren, we wish you unbroken prosperity in the 
Lord. Remember us.” 

Plainly the Carthaginian church is conscious here of having 


done something out of the common. But it is intensely con- 
scious also of having thus discharged a duty of Christian love, — 
and the religious basis of the duty is laid down in exemplary — 
fashion. It is also obvious that so liberal a grant could not be 
taken from the proceeds of the ordinary church-collections. 

Yet another example of Cyprian’s care for a foreign church ἴδ 
extant. In the case (cp. above, p. 175) already mentioned οὐ 
the teacher of the histrionic art who is to give up his profession — 
and be supported by the church, if he has no other means of 
livelihood, Cyprian (Ep. ii.) writes that the man may come to 
Carthage and find maintenance in the local church if his own 
church is too poor to feed him. | 

Lucian’s satire on the death of Peregrinus, in the days οὗ 
Marcus Aurelius, is a further witness to the alert and energetic — 
temper of the interest taken in churches at the outbreak of 
persecution or during a period of persecution. The governor 
of Syria had ordered the arrest of this character, who is dis- — 
cribed by Lucian as a nefarious impostor. Lucian then describes 
the honour paid him, during his imprisonment, by Christians, 
and proceeds as follows: ‘In fact, people actually came from 
several Asiatic townships, sent by Christians, in the name of 
their churches, to render aid, to conduct the defence, and to 
encourage the man. ‘They become incredibly alert when any- 
thing of this kind occurs that affects their common interests. _ 
On such occasions no expense is grudged. Thus they pour οὐδ 
on Peregrinus, at this time, sums of money which were by no ~ 
means trifling, and he drew from this source a considerable 
income.” What Lucian relates in this passage cannot, there- 
fore, have been an infrequent occurrence. Brethren arrived 
from afar in the name of their churches, not merely to bring — 
donations for the support of prisoners, but also to visit them in — 

1 <«*Si illic ecclesia non sufficit ut laborantibus praestat alimenta, poterit se ad 
nos transferre (z.¢., to Carthage), et hic quod 5101 ad victum atque ad vestitum — 
necessarium fuerit accipere” (‘‘If the local church is not able to support those 
who labour, let it send them on to us to get the needful food and clothing”). 

2 It may be observed at this point that there were no general collections in the ΠῚ 

early church, like those maintained by the Jews in the Imperial age. The 
organization of the churches would not tend greatly to promote any such under- 
takings, since Christians had no headquarters such as the Jews possessed in 



prison, and to encourage them by evidences of love; they 
_ actually endeavoured to stand beside them in the hour of trial. 
The seven epistles of Ignatius form, as it were, a commentary 

_ upon these observations of the pagan writer. In them we find 

the keen sympathy shown by the churches of Asia Minor as well 
as by the Roman church in the fortunes of a bishop upon whom 
they had never set eyes before: we also get a vivid sense of their 
care for the church at Antioch, which was now orphaned. 
Ignatius is being taken from Antioch to Rome in order to fight 
with beasts at the capital, and meanwhile the persecution of 
Christians at Antioch proceeds apace. On reaching Smyrna, he 
is greeted by deputies from the churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, 
and 'Tralles. After several days’ intercourse, he entrusts them 
with letters to their respective churches, in which, among other 
things, he warmly commends to the brethren of Asia Minor his 
own forlorn church. ‘ Pray for the church in Syria,” he writes 
to the Ephesians. ‘‘ Remember the church in Syria when you 
pray,” he writes to the Trallians; “1 am not worthy to belong 
to it, since I am the least of its members.” And in the letter 
to the Magnesians he repeats this request, comparing the church 
at Antioch to a field scorched by the fiery heat of persecution, 
which needs some refreshing dew: the love of the brethren is to 
revive it.! At the same time we find him turning to the Romans 
also. ‘There appears to have been some brother from Ephesus 
who was ready to convey a letter to the Roman church, but 
Ignatius assumes they will learn of his fortunes before the letter 
reaches them. What he fears is, lest they should exert their 
influence at court on his behalf, or rob him of his coveted 
martyrdom by appealing to the Emperor. The whole of the 
letter is written with the object of blocking the Roman church 
upon this line of action.2 But all that concerns us here is the 
fact that a stranger bishop from abroad could assume that the 
Roman church would interest itself in him, whether he was 
thinking of a legal appeal or of the Roman Christians moving 

1 Eph., xxi, 23 Trall., xiii. 1 ; Magn., xiv. 

2 Even here Ignatius remembers to commend the church at Antioch to the 
church of Rome (ix.): ‘‘ Remember in your prayers the Syrian church, which 

has God for its shepherd now instead of me. Jesus Christ alone shall be its over- 
seer (bishop)—he and your love together.” 


in his favour along some special channels open to themselves. 
A few days afterwards Ignatius found himself at Troas, accom- 
panied by the Ephesian deacon Burrhus, and provided with con- 
tributions from the church of Smyrna.! Thence he writes to 
the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna, with both of which he 
had become acquainted during the course of his journey, as well 
as to Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna. Messengers from Antioch 
reached him at Troas with news of the cessation of the 
persecution at the former city, and with the information that 
some churches in the vicinity of Antioch had already despatched 
bishops or presbyters and deacons to congratulate the local church 
(Philad., x. 2). Whereupon, persuaded that the church of 
Antioch had been delivered from its persecution through the 
prayers of the churches in Asia Minor, Ignatius urges the latter 
also to send envoys to Antioch in order to unite with that church 
in thanking God for the deliverance. “Since I am informed,” 
he writes to the Philadelphians (x. 1 f.), “that, in answer to 
your prayers and love in Jesus Christ, the church of Antioch is 
now at peace, it befits you, as a church of God, to send a deacon 
as your delegate with a message of God for that church, so that 
he may congratulate the assembled church and glorify the Name. 
Blessed in Jesus Christ is he who shall be counted worthy of 
such a mission; and ye shall yourselves be glorified. Now it is 
not impossible for you to do this for the name of God, if only 
you have the desire.” The same counsel is given to Smyrna. 

The church there is also to send a messenger with a pastoral letter | 

to the church of Antioch (Smyrn., xi.). The unexpected sudden- 
ness of his departure from Troas prevented Ignatius from 

addressing the same request to the other churches of Asia Minor. | 
He therefore begs Polycarp not only himself to despatch a — 
messenger with all speed (Polyc., vii. 2), but to write in his — 

name to the other churches and ask them to share the general 
joy of the Antiochene Christians either by messenger or by letter 
(Polyc., viii. 1). A few weeks later the church at Philippi wrote 

to Polycarp that it also had made the acquaintance of Ignatius — 

during that interval ; it requested the bishop of Smyrna, there- 
fore, to forward its letter to the church of Antioch whenever 

1 Philad., xi, 2; Smyrn., xii. 1, 

ig) i aN 


“he sent his own messenger. Polycarp undertakes to do so. In 
fact, he even holds out the prospect of conveying the letter 
himself. As desired by them, he also transmits to them such 
letters of Ignatius as had come to hand, and asks for reliable 
information upon the fate of Ignatius and his companions.! 
_ Such, in outline, is the situation as we find it in the seven 
letters of Ignatius and in Polycarp’s epistle to the Philippians. 
What a wealth of intercourse there is between the churches! 
What public spirit! What brotherly care for one another ! 
Financial support retires into the background here. The fore- 
ground of the picture is filled by proofs of that personal co- 
operation by means of which whole churches, or again churches 
and-their bishops, could lend mutual aid to one another, con- 
soling and strengthening each other, and sharing their sorrows 
and their joys. Here we step into a whole world of sympathy 
and love. 

From other sources we also learn that after weathering a 
persecution the churches would send a detailed report of it to 
other churches. ‘Two considerable documents of this kind are 
still extant. One is the letter addressed by the church of 
‘Smyrna to the church of Philomelium and to all Christian 
churches, after the persecution which took place under Antonius 
Pius. The other is the letter of the churches in Gaul to those 
in Asia Minor and Phrygia, after the close of the bloody per- 
‘secution under Marcus Aurelius.?_ In both letters the perse- 
-cution is described in great detail, while in the former the death 

of bishop Polycarp is specially dwelt on, since the glorious end 
ofa bishop who was well known in the East and West alike 
had to be announced to all Christendom. The events which 
transpired in Gaul had a special claim upon the sympathy of 
the Asiatic brethren, for at least a couple of the latter, Attalus 
of Pergamum and Alexander, a Phrygian, had suffered a glorious 
martyrdom in the Gallic persecution. ‘The churches also took 
advantage of the opportunity to communicate to the brethren 

a Polyc., ad Phil., xiii. 

2 It is preserved, though not in an entirely complete form, by Eusebius (4.Z., 
vy. I f.). The Smyrniote letter also occurs in an abbreviatha form in Bosebias 
: (iv. 15) ; the complete form, however, is also extant in a special type of text, both 
_ in Greek and Latin, 


certain notable experiences of their own during the period of © 
persecution, as well as any truths which they had verified. — 
Thus the Smyrniote church speaks very decidedly against the — 
practice of people delivering themselves up and craving for — 
martyrdom. It gives one melancholy instance of this error | 
(Mart. Polyc., iv.). The churches of Gaul, for their part 
(in Eus., 1.1}... v. 2), put in a warning against excessive 
harshness in the treatment of penitent apostates. They are 
able also to describe the tender compassion shown by their 
own confessors. It was otherwise with the church of Rome. 
She exhorted the church of Carthage to stand fast and firm 
during the Decian persecution,' and at a subsequent period 
conferred with it upon its mode of dealing with apostates.? 
Here a special case was under discussion. Cyprian, the bishop _ 
of Carthage, had fled during the persecution ; nevertheless, he — | 
had continued to superintend his church from his retreat, since — 
he could say with quite a good conscience that he was bound — 
to look after his own people. 'The Romans, who had not been ll 2 
at first informed of the special circumstances of the case, 
evidently viewed the bishop’s flight with serious misgiving;— 
they thought themselves obliged to write and encourage the 
local church. The fact was, no greater disaster could befall 
a church in a period of distress than the loss of its clergy or 
bishop by death or dereliction of duty. In his treatise on 
“Flight during a Persecution,” Tertullian relates how deacons, — 
presbyters, and bishops frequently ran away at the outbreak οὗ 
a persecution, on the plea of Matt. x. 23: “If they persecute 
you in one city, flee unto another.” The result was that the 
church either collapsed or fell a prey to heretics.? The more 

+ eel! 

Lee ΠΟ Ὸς ΘῊΡ th eet — ἀν, 

1 Ep. viii. in Cyprian’s correspondence (ed. Hartel). 

2 Cp. my study (in the volume dedicated to Weizsicker, 1892) on “‘ The letters — 
of the Roman clergy from the age of the papal vacancy in 250 A.D.” There is — 
also an interesting remark of Dionysius of Alexandria in a letter addressed to — 
Germanus which Eusebius has preserved (H.Z., VII. xi. 3). Dionysius tells 
how ‘‘ one of the brethren who were present from Rome accompanied” him to — 
his examination before A‘milianus the governor (during the Valerian persecution), A 

3 ‘Sed cum ipsi auctores, id est ipsi diaconi et presbyteri et episcopi fugiunt, 
quomodo laicus intellegere potuerit, qua ratione dictum: Fugite de civitate in 
civitatem? (Tales) dispersum gregem faciunt et in praedam esse omnibus bestiis — 

Z ᾿ 

agri, dum non est pastor 1115, Quod nunquam magis fit, quam cum in persecutione _ 


dependent the church became upon its clergy, the more serious 
were the consequences to the church of any failure or even of 
any change in the ranks of the latter. This was well understood 
by the ardent persecutors of the church in the third century, by 
Maximin I., by Decius, by Valerian, and by Diocletian. Even a 
Cyprian could not retain control of his church from a place of 
retreat! He had to witness it undergoing shocks of disastrous 
force. It was for this very reason that the sister churches gave 
practical proof of their sympathy in such crises, partly by 
sending letters of comfort during the trial, as the Romans did, 
partly by addressing congratulations to the church when the 
trial had been passed. In his church history Eusebius furnishes 
us with selections from the ample correspondence of Dionysius, 
bishop of Corinth, and one of these letters, addressed to the 
church of Athens, is relevant to our present purpose. Eusebius 
writes as follows (H.E., IV. xxiii. 2 f.): “The epistle exhorts 
them to the faith and life of the gospel, which Dionysius 
accuses them of undervaluing. Indeed, he almost says they 
have fallen away from the faith since the martyrdom of Publius, 
their bishop, which had occurred during the persecution in those 
days. He also mentions Quadratus, who was appointed bishop 
after the martyrdom of Publius, and testifies that by the zeal 
of Quadratus they were gathered together again and had new 
zeal imparted to their faith.” The persecution which raged in 
Antioch during the reign of Septimius Severus claimed as its 
victim the local bishop of that day, one Serapion. His death 
must have exposed the church to great peril, for when the 

᾿ς episcopate was happily filled up again, the bishop of Cappadocia 

wrote a letter of his own from prison to congratulate the church 

_ of Antioch, in the following terms: “The Lord has lightened 

and smoothed my bonds in this time of captivity, by letting me 

_ hear that, through the providence of God, the bishopric of your 
_ holy church has been undertaken by Asclepiades, whose services 

destituitur ecclesia a clero”’ (‘* But when the very authorities themselves—deacons, 
I mean, and presbyters and bishops—take to flight, how cana layman see the 

_ real meaning of the saying, ‘ Flee from city to city’? Such shepherds scatter the 
_ flock and leave it a prey to every wild beast of the field, by depriving it of a 
' shepherd, And this is specially the case when a church is forsaken by the clergy 
_ during persecution ”).—De Fuga, xi. 

~ VOL. I. 13 


to the faith qualify him thoroughly for such a position” (Eus., 
H.E., VI. xi. 5). 

Hitherto we have been gleaning from the scanty remains of 
the primitive Christian literature whatever bore upon the 
material support extended by one church to another, or upon _ 
the mutual assistance forthcoming in a time of persecution, — 
But whenever persecutions brought about internal crisis and 
perils in a church, as was not infrequently the case, the 
sympathetic interest of the church extended to this sphere of 
need as well, and attempts were made to meet the situation. 
Such cases now fall to be considered—cases in which it was not 
poverty or persecution, but internal abuses and internal dangers, 
pure and simple, which drew a word of comfort or of counsel 
from a sister church or from its bishop. 

In this connection we possess one document dating from the 
very earliest period, viz., the close of the first century, which _ 
deserves especial notice. It is the so-called first epistle of 
Clement, really an official letter sent by the Roman church to 
the Corinthian.! Within the pale of the latter church a crisis — 
had arisen, whose consequences were extremely serious. All we 
know, of course, is what the majority of the church thought of 
the crisis, but according to their account certain newcomers, 
of an ambitious and conceited temper, had repudiated the | 
existing authorities and led a number of the younger members — 
of the church astray.? Their intention was to displace the — 
presbyters and deacons, and in general to abolish the growing 
authority of the officials (xl.—xlviii.). .\ sharp struggle ensued, _ 
in which even the women took some part. Faith, love, and | 
brotherly feeling were already threatened with extinction (i.-iii.). 
The scandal became notorious throughout Christendom, and 
indeed there was a danger of the heathen becoming acquainted 
with the quarrel, of the name of Christ being blasphemed, and 
of the church’s security being imperilled.*| The Roman Church 
stepped in. It had not been asked by the Corinthian church to 
interfere in the matter; on the contrary, it spoke out of its own 
accord. And it did so with an affection and solicitude equal 

ΣΑ͂ Vs he 

1 Cp. the inscription. 2 Cp. i, I, iii. 3, xxxix. 1, xlvii. 6, etc. 
’ This is probable, from i. 3, xxi. 6. 4 Cp, xlvii. 7,1. 1. © i, 1, xlvii. 6-7. 



to its candour and dignity. It felt bound, for conscience’ sake, 

_ to give a serious and brotherly admonition, conscious that God’s 

voice spoke through its words for peace,! and at the same time 
for the strict maintenance of respect towards the authority of 
the officials (cp. xl. f.). Withal it never forgets that its place 
is merely to point out the right road to the Corinthians, not to 
lay commands upon them ;* over and again it expresses most 
admirably its firm confidence that the church knows the will of 
God and will bethink itself once more of the right course? It 
even clings to the hope that the very agitators will mend their 
ways (cp. liv.). But in the name of God it asks that a speedy 
end be put to the scandal. ‘The transmission of the epistle is 
entrusted to the most honoured men within its membership. 
‘They shall be witnesses between us and you. And we have 
done this that you may know we have had and still have every 
concern for your speedy restoration to peace” (Ixiii. 3). The 
epistle concludes by saying that the Corinthians are to send 

_ back the envoys to Rome as soon as possible in joy and peace, 

so that the Romans may be able to hear of concord regained 
with as little delay as possible and to rejoice speedily on that 
account (Ixv. 1). ‘There is nothing in early Christian literature 
to compare with this elaborate and effective piece of writing, lit 
up with all the brotherly affection and the public spirit of the 

church. But similar cases are not infrequent. The church at 

- Philippi, for example, sent a letter across the sea to the aged 

Polycarp at Smyrna, informing him of a sad affair which had 
occurred in their own midst. One of their presbyters, named 

_ Valens, had been convicted of embezzling the funds of the 

church. In his reply, which is still extant, Polycarp treats this 
_ melancholy piece of news (Polyc., ad Phil., xi.). He does not 
interfere with the jurisdiction of the church, but he exhorts and 
counsels the Philippians. They are to take warning from this 
_ ease and avoid avarice themselves. Should the presbyter and 
_ his wife repent, the church is not to treat them as enemies, but 
_ as ailing and erring members, so that the whole body may be 

1 Cp. lix. 1, lvi. 1, Ixiii. 2. 
2 Cp. especially lviii. 2: δέξασθε τὴν συμβουλὴν ἡμῶν (‘S accept our counsel ”). 
8 Cp. xl. 1, xlv. 2 f., liii, 1, Ixii. 3. 


saved. The bishop lets it be seen that the church’s treatment _ 
of the case does not appear to him to have been entirely correct. 
He exhorts them to moderate their passion and to be gentle. 
But, at the same time, in so doing he is perfectly conscious of 
the length to which he may venture to go in opposing an out- 
side church. When Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, is being 
conveyed across Asia Minor, he takes the opportunity of writing 
brief letters to encourage the local churches in any perils to 
which they may be exposed. He warns them against the 
machinations of heretics, exhorts them to obey the clergy, urges 
a prudent concord and firm unity, and in quite a thorough 
fashion gives special counsels for any emergency. At the 
opening of the second century a Roman Christian, the brother 
of the bishop, desires to lay down the via media of proper order 
and discipline at any crisis in the church, as he himself had 
found that via, between the extremes of laxity and rigour. His 
aim is directed not merely to the Roman church but to 
Christendom in general (to the “ foreign cities”); he wishes all 
to learn the counsels which he claims to have personally received 
from the Holy Spirit through the church (Herm., Vés., 11. 4). 
In the days of Marcus Aurelius it was bishop Dionysius of 
Corinth in particular who sought (no doubt in his church’s 
name as well as in his own) by means of an extensive correspon- 
dence to confirm the faith of such churches, even at a great — 
distance, as were in any peril. Two of his letters, those to the 
Athenians and the Romans, we have already noticed, but — 
Eusebius gives us the contents of several similar writings, which 
he calls “catholic” epistles. Probably these were meant to be 
circulated throughout the churches, though they were collected 
at an early date and also (as the bishop himself is forced 
indignantly to relate) were interpolated. One letter to the © 
church at Sparta contains an exposition of orthodox doctrine — 
with an admonition to peace and unity. In the epistle to the 
church of Nicomedia in Bithynia he combats the heresy of ; 
Marcion. ‘“ He also wrote a letter to the church in Gortynalll 
together with the other churches in Crete, praising their bishop 4 
Philip for the testimony borne to the great piety and stead 
fastness of his church, and warning them to guard against the 




> ye in αὖ... Δ... a, 

Seales + cl - 

ἥδ γὰρ... 

v τος Saal 


aberrations of heretics. He also wrote to the church of 
Amastris, together with the other churches in Pontus... . . 
Here he adds explanations of some passages from Holy Scrip- 
ture, and mentions Palmas, their bishop, by name. He gives 
them long advice, too, upon marriage and chastity, enjoining 
them also to welcome again into their number all who come back 
after any lapse whatsoever, be it vice or heresy. There is also 
in his collection of letters another addressed to the Cnosians (in 
Crete), in which he exhorts Pinytus, the bishop of the local 
church, not to lay too heavy and sore a burden on the brethren 
in the matter of continence, but to consider the weakness of the 
majority ” (Eus., H.E., iv. 23). Such is the variety of contents 
in these letters. Dionysius seems to have spoken his mind on 
every question which agitated the churches of his day, nor was 
any church too remote for him to evince his interest in its inner 

After the close of the second century a significant change 
came over these relationships, as the institution of synods began 
to be adopted. The free and unconventional communications 
which passed between the churches (or their bishops) yielded to 
an intercourse conducted upon fixed and regular lines. A new 
procedure had already come into vogue with the Montanist and 
Quartodeciman controversies, and this was afterwards developed 
more highly still in the great Christological controversies and 
in the dispute with Novatian. Doubtless we still continue to 
hear of cases in which individual churches or their bishops 
displayed special interest in other churches at a distance, nor 
was there any cessation of voluntary sympathy with the weal 
and woe of any sister church. But this gave place more 
than ever both to an interest in the position taken up by the 
church at large in view of individual and particular movements, 
and also to the support of the provincial churches.1 Keen 
interest was shown in the attitude taken up by the churches 
throughout the empire (or their bishops) upon any critical 
question. On such matters harmony could be arranged, but 
otherwise the provincial churches began to form groups of their 

* Instances of this occur, ¢.g., in the correspondence of Cyprian and of Dionysius 
of Alexandria. 



own. Still, for all this, fresh methods emerged in the course of 7 
the third century by which one church supported or rallied 
another, and these included the custom of inviting the honoured — 
teachers .of one church to deliver addresses in another, or of 4 
securing them, when controversies had arisen, to pronounce an — 
opinion, to instruct the parties, and to give a judgment in the © 
matter. Instances of this are to be found, for example, in the 

career of the great theologian Origen.! Even in the fourth and — 
fifth centuries, the material support of poor churches from 
foreign sources had not ceased ; Socrates, in his church history — 
(vii. 25), notes one very brilliant example of the practice. 

Cp, Busi ZZ., Ὁ, 19. FS sh 23°37 5 eee 





In its missionary activities the Christian religion presented 
itself as something more than the gospel of redemption and of 
ministering love ; it was also the religion of the Spirit and of 
power. No doubt, it verified its character as Spirit and power 
by the very fact that it brought redemption and succour to 
mankind, freeing them from demons (see above, pp. 125 f.) and 
from the misery of life. But the witness of the Spirit had a 
wider reach than even this. “I came to you in weakness and 
fear and with great trembling; nor were my speech and preach- 
ing in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of the 
Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. ii. 3, 4). Though Paul in these 
words is certainly thinking of his conflict with demons and of 
their palpable defeat, he is by no means thinking of that alone, 
but also of all the wonderful deeds that accompanied the labours 
of the apostles and the founding of the church. ‘These were 
not confined to his own person. From all directions they were 
reported in connection with other missionaries as well. Towards 
the close of the first century, when people came to look back 
upon the age in which the church had been established, the 
course of events was summed up in these words (Heb. ii. 3): 
‘Salvation began by being spoken through the Lord, and was 
confirmed for us by those who heard it, while God accompanied 

1 In presenting this aspect of the Christian religion, one has either to be extremely 
brief or very copious. In the volume which has been already mentioned (on 
p. 125), Weinel has treated it with great thoroughness. Here I shall do no more 
than adduce the salient points. 



their witness by signs and wonders and manifold miracles and 
distributions of the holy Spirit.” 

The variety of expressions! here is in itself a proof of the 
number of phenomena which emerge in this connection. Let 
us try to single out the most important of them. 

(1) God speaks to the missionaries in visions, dreams, and 
ecstasy, revealing to them affairs of moment and also trifles, 
controlling their plans, pointing out the roads on which they 
are to travel, the cities where they are to stay, and the persons 
whom they are to visit.’ Visions occur especially after a martyr- 
dom, the dead martyr appearing to his friends during the weeks 
that immediately follow his death, as in the case of Potamizna 
(Eus., H.E., vi. 5), or of Cyprian, or of many others. 

It was by means of dreams that Arnobius (Jerome, Chron., 
Ρ. 326) and others were converted. Even in the middle of the 
third century, the two great bishops Dionysius and Cyprian” 
were both visionaries. Monica, Augustine’s mother, like many 
a Christian widow, saw visions frequently ; she could even detect, 

from a certain taste in her mouth, whether it was a real revela- 

tion or a dream-image that she saw (Aug., Conf., vi. 13. 23: 
“‘ Dicebat discernere se nescio quo sapore, quem verbis explicare 
non poterat, quid interesset inter revelantem te et animam suam 
somniantem”™). She was not the first who used this criterion. 
(2) At the missionary addresses of the apostles or evangelists, 

or at the services of the churches which they founded, sudden 

movements of rapture are experienced, many of them being 
simultaneous seizures ; these are either full of terror and dismay, 
convulsing the whole spiritual life, or exultant outbursts of a 
joy that sees heaven opened to its eyes. The simple question, 
“What must I do to be saved?” also bursts upon the mind with 
an elemental force. 

1 Cp. Justin’s Dial, xxxix.: φωτιζόμενοι διὰ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ χριστοῦ τούτου" 
ὃ μὲν γὰρ λαμβάνει συνέσεως πνεῦμα, ὁ δὲ βουλῆς, ὃ δὲ toxvos, ὃ δὲ ἰάσεως, 6 δὲ 
προγνώσεως, ὃ δὲ διδασκαλίας, ὁ δὲ φόβου θεοῦ (‘‘ Illuminated by the name of Christ. 
For one receives the spirit of understanding, another the spirit of counsel, another 
the spirit of might, another the spirit of healing, another the spirit of foreknowledge, 
another the spirit of teaching, another the spirit of the fear of God ”). 

2 Cp. my essay on ‘‘Cyprian als Enthusiast” in the Zectschrift fur die neutest, 
Wissenschaft, iii. (1902), pp. 177 f. 

Ree See eT ΣΤ ont ay Te 


oo ὁ νὰν 

ν oe > Bia! Seah 

δόσει πα 

νῶν Ni Sg αν 


(3) Some are inspired who have power to clothe their experi- 
ence in words—prophets to explain the past, to interpret and 
to fathom the present, and to fortell the future! Their pro- 
phecies relate to the general course of history, but also to the 
fortunes of individuals, to what individuals are to do or leave 

(4) Brethren are inspired with the impulse to improvise 
prayers and hymns and psalms. 

(5) Others are so filled with the Spirit that they lose con- 
sciousness and break out in stammering speech and cries, or in 
unintelligible utterances—which can be interpreted, however, 
by those who have the gift. 

(6) Into the hands of others, again, the Spirit slips a pen, 
either in an ecstasy or in exalted moments of spiritual tension ; 
_ they not merely speak but write as they are bidden. 

(7) Sick persons are brought and healed by the missionaries, 
or by brethren who have been but recently awakened; wild 
_paroxysms of terror before God’s presence are also soothed, and 
in the name of Jesus demons are cast out. 

(8) The Spirit impels men to an immense variety of extra- 
ordinary actions—to symbolic actions which are meant to reveal 
some mystery or to give some directions for life, as well as to 
deeds of heroism. 

(9) Some perceive the presence of the Spirit with every sense ; 
they see its brilliant light, they hear its voice, they smell the 
fragrance of immortality and taste its sweetness. Nay more; 
they see celestial persons with their own eyes, see them and also 
hear them; they peer into what is hidden or distant or to come ; 
they are even rapt into the world to come, into heaven itself, 
where they listen to “ words that cannot be uttered.” ” 

1 These prophecies do mot include, however, the Christian Sibylline oracles, 
_ The Jewish oracles were accepted in good faith by Christians, and quoted by them 
_ (ever since Hermas) as prophetic ; but the production of Christian Sibyllines did 
- not begin, in all likelihood, till after the middle of the third century. These oracles 
are an artificial and belated outcome of the primitive Christian enthusiasm, and 
' are simply a series of forgeries. Cp. my Chronologie, i. pp. 581 f., ii. pp. 184 f. 

2 Cp., however, Orig., Hom. xxvii. 11, 7 Mum. (vol. 10, p. 353): ‘‘ In visions 
᾿ there is wont to be temptation, for the angel of evil sometimes transforms himself 
᾿ into an angel of light. Hence you must take great care to discriminate the kind 
Οὗ vision, just as Joshua the son of Nun on seeing a vision knew there was 



(10) But although the Spirit manifests itself through marvels 
like these, it is no less effective in heightening the religious and 
the moral powers, which operate with such purity and power in — 
certain individuals that they bear palpably the stamp of their Ἶ 
divine origin. A heroic faith or confidence in God is visible, — 
able to overthrow mountains, and towering far above the faith i 
that lies in the heart of every Christian; charitable services are | 

rendered which are far more moving and stirring than any | 

miracle ; a foresight and a solicitude are astir in the manage- — 
ment of life, that operate as surely as the very providence of 
God. When these spiritual gifts, together with those of the 
apostles, prophets, and teachers, are excited, they are the funda-_ 
mental means of edifying the churches, proving them thereby — 
_ to be “churches of God.” 3 
_ The amplest evidence for all these traits is to be found in the — 
pages of early Christian literature from its earliest record down — 
to Irenzeus, and even further. The apologists allude to them — 
as a familiar and admitted fact, and it is quite obvious that they _ 
were of primary importance for the mission and propaganda of the 
Christian religion. Other religions and cults could doubtless 
point to some of these actions of the Spirit, such as ecstasy, 
vision, demonic and anti-demonic manifestations, but nowhere do 
we find such a wealth of these phenomena presented to us as in | 
Christianity ; moreover, and this is of supreme importance, the | 
fact that their Christian range included the exploits of moral — 
heroism, stamped them in this field with a character which was 
all their own and lent them a very telling power. What existed | 
elsewhere merely in certain stereotyped and_ fragmentary forms, 
appeared within Christianity in a wealth of expression where 
every function of the spiritual, the mental, and the moral life 
seemed actually to be raised above itself. 

a temptation in it, and at once asked the figure, Art thou on our side, or on our 
foes’?” (‘‘Solet in visionibus esse tentatio; nam nonnunquam angelus iniquitatis — 
transfigurat se in angelum lucis, et ideo cavendum est et sollicite agendum, ut — 
scienter discernas visionum genus, sicut et Jesus Nave, cum visionem viderit, sciens — 
in hoc esse tentationem, statim requisit ab eo qui apparuit et dicit: Noster es an 
adversariorum?”), See also what follows. 
1 We must not ignore the fact that these proofs of ‘‘ the Spirit and power” were 
not favourable to the propaganda in all quarters. Celsus held that they were 
trickery, magic, and a gross scandal, and his opinion was shared by other sensible | 


In all these phenomena there was an implicit danger, due to 
the great temptation which people felt either to heighten them 
artificially, or credulously to exaggerate them,! or to imitate 
them fradulently, or selfishly to turn them to their own account.? 

pagans, although the latter were no surer of their facts than Celsus himself. Paul 
had observed long ago that, instead of recommending Christianity, speaking with 
tongues might on the contrary discredit it among pagans (see 1 Cor. xiv. 23: “‘If 
the whole congregation assemble and all speak with tongues, then will not 
uneducated or unbelieving men, who may chance to enter, say that you are 
mad ?”’), 

1 At that period, as all our sources show, belief in miracles was strong upon the 
whole; but in Christian circles it seems to have been particularly robust and | 
unlimited, tending more and more to deprive men of any vision of reality, Com- 
pare, for example, the apocryphal Acts, a genre of literature whose roots lie in 
the second century. We must also note how primitive popular legends which 

were current acquired a Christian cast and got attached to this or that Christian 
hero or apostle or saint. One instance of this may be seen in the well-known 
_ stories of corpses which moved as if they could still feel and think. Tertullian 
(de Anzma, li.) writes thus: ‘‘I know of one woman, even within the church itself, 
who fell peacefully asleep, after a singularly happy though short married life, in 
the bloom of her age and beauty. Before her burial was completed, when the 
priest had begun the appointed office, she raised her hands from her side at the 
first breath of his prayer, put them in the posture of devotion, and, when the holy 
service was concluded, laid them back in their place. Then there is the other 
_ Story current among our people, that in a certain cemetery one corpse made way 
of its own accord for another to be laid alongside of it”? (this is also told of the 
corpse of bishop Reticius of Autun at the beginning of the fourth century). 
_ 53 Cp. what has been already said (p. 132) on exorcists being blamed, and also 
_ the description of the impostor Marcus given by Irenzeus in the first book of his 
great work, When the impostor Peregrinus joined the Christians, he became 
(says Lucian) a ‘‘ prophet,” and as such secured for himself both glory and gain. 
_ The Didaché had already endeavoured to guard the churches against men of this 
_kind, who used their spiritual gifts for fraudulent ends. There were even 
Christian minstrels; cp. the pseudo-Clementine epistle de Virginitate, ii. 6: 
“Nec proicimus sanctum canibus nec margaritas ante porcos; sed dei laudes 
᾿ celebramus cum omnimoda disciplina et cum omni prudentia et cum omni timore 
dei atque animi intentione. Cultum sacrum non exercemus ibi, ubi inebriantur 
᾿ gentiles et verbis impuris in conviviis suis blasphemant in impietate sua. Propterea 
_ hon psallimus gentilibus neque scripturas illis praelegimus, ut ne tibicinibus aut 
_ Cantoribus aut hariolis similes simus, séca¢ multz, qui ita agunt et haec faciunt, ut 
_ buccella panis saturent sese et propter modicum vini eunt et cantant cantica domini 
_ in terra aliena gentilium ac faciant quod non licet ” (“‘ We do not cast what is holy 
_ to the dogs nor throw pearls before swine, but celebrate the praises of God with 
_ perfect self-restraint and discretion, in all fear of God and with deliberate mind. 
' We do not practise our sacred worship where the heathen get drunk and impiously 
_ blaspheme with impure speech at their banquets. Hence we do not sing to the 
heathen, nor do we read aloud our scriptures to them, that we may not be like 
᾿ flute-players, or singers, or soothsayers, as many are who live and act thus in order 
_ to get a mouthful of bread, going for a sorry cup of wine to sing the songs of the 


It was in the primitive days of Christianity, during the first © 
sixty years of its course, that their effects were most conspicuous, 
but they continued to exist all through the second century, 
although in diminished volume. Irenzeus confirms this view.? 
The Montanist movement certainly gave new life to the “ Spirit,” 
which had begun to wane; but after the opening of the third 
century the phenomena dwindle rapidly, and instead of being — 
the hall-mark of the church at large, or of every individual — 
community, they become no more than the endowment of a few 
favoured individuals. 'The common life of the church has now — 
its priests, its altar, its sacraments, its holy book and rule of © 
faith. But it no longer possesses “the Spirit and power.”? — 

Lord in the strange land of the heathen and doing what is unlawful”). See also — 
the earlier passage in i. 13: May God send workmen who are not ‘‘ operarii 
mercenarii, qui religionem et pietatem pro mercibus habeant, qui simulent lucis 
filios, cum non sint lux sed tenebrae, qui operantur fraudem, qui Christum in _ 
negotio et quaestu habeant”’ (‘‘ mere hirelings, trading on their religion and piety, : 


γος ἐ ΨΨΨας. 

imitating the children of light although they themselves are not light but darkness, 
acting fraudulently, and making Christ a matter of profit and gain”), 
1 They must have been generally and inevitably discredited by the fact that the — 
various parties in Christianity during the second century each denied that the other — 
possessed the Spirit and power, explaining that when such phenomena occurred — 
among its opponents they were the work of the devil, and unauthentic, f 
* He actually declares (see above, p. 135) that people are still raised from the 
dead within the Christian church (ii. 31. 2). On the spiritual gifts still oper- | 
ative in his day, cp. ii. 32. 4: Διὸ καὶ ἐν τῷ ἐκείνου ὀνόματι (that of Jesus) of 
ἀληθῶς αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ λαβόντες Thy χάριν ἐπιτελοῦσιν ἐπ᾽ ἐυεργεσίᾳ TH 
τῶν λοιπῶν ἀνθρώπων, καθῶς εἷς ἕκαστος αὐτῶν δωρεὰν εἴληφε παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ " of μὲν 
γὰρ δαίμονας ἐλαύνουσι βεβαίως καὶ ἀληθῶς, ὥστε πολλάκισ καὶ πιστεύειν αὐτοὺς 
ἐκείνους τοὺς καθαρισθάντας ἀπὸ τῶν πονηρῶν πνευμάτων καὶ εἶναι ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ " 
οἱ δὲ καὶ πρόγνωσιν ἔχουσι τῶν μελλόντων καὶ ὀπτασίας καὶ ῥήσεις προφητικάς " 
ἄλλοι δὲ τοὺς κάμνοντας διὰ τῆς τῶν χειρῶν ἐπιθέσεως ἰῶνται καὶ ὑγιεῖς ἀποκαθισ- 
τᾶσιν ᾿ ἤδη δὲ καὶ νεκροὶ ἢγέρθησαν καὶ παρέμειναν σὺν ἡμῖν ἱκανοῖς ἔτεσι " καὶ 
τὶ γάρ; οὐκ ἔστιν ἀριθμὸν εἰπεῖν τῶν χαρισμάτων ὧν κατὰ παντὸς τοῦ κόσμου ἧ 
ἐκκλησία παρὰ θεοῦ λαβοῦσα ἐν Ag ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ σταυρωθέντος ἐπὶ 
Ποντίου Πιλάτου ἑκάστης ἡμέρας ἐπ᾽ ἐνεργεσίᾳ τῇ τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐπιτελεῖ (cp. above, 4 
p. 135). Irenzeus distinctly adds that these gifts were gratuitous. Along with — 
other opponents of heresy, he blames the Gnostics for taking money and thus rh 
trading upon Christ. A prototype of this occurs as early as Acts viii. 15 f. (the — 
case of Simon Magus), where it is strongly reprimanded (τὸ ἀργύριόν σου σὺν σοὶ a 
εἴη eis ἀπώλειαν, ‘‘ Thy money perish with thee !”’). a J 
3 All the higher value was attached to such people as appeared to possess the Ἵ 
Spirit. The more the phenomena of Spirit and power waned in and for the 
general mass of Christians, the higher rose that cultus of heroes in the faith (24, 
ascetics, confessors, and workers of miracles) which had existed from the very y 
first. These all bear unmistakable signs of the Christ within them, in consequence — 



Eusebius is not the first (in the third book of his history) to 
look back upon the age of the Spirit and of power as the bygone 
heroic age of the church,! for Origen had already pronounced 
this verdict on the past out of an impoverished present. Yet this 
impoverishment and disenchantment hardly inflicted any injury 
now upon the mission of Christianity. During the third century 
_ that mission was being prosecuted in a different way from that 
followed in the first and second centuries. There were no longer 
any regular missionaries—at least we never hear of any such. 
And the propaganda was no longer an explosive force, but a 
sort of steady fermenting process. Quietly but surely Chris- 
tianity was expanding from the centres it had already occupied, 
diffusing itself with no violent shocks or concussions in its 
_ If the early Christians always looked out for the proofs of 
the Spirit and of power, they did so from the standpoint of 
_ their moral and religious energy, since it was for the sake of the 
_ latter object that these gifts had been bestowed upon the church. 

of which they enjoy veneration and authority. Gradually, during the second half 

_ of the third century in particular, they took the place of the dethroned deities of 

paganism, though as a rule this position was not gained till after death.—Though 

Cyprian still made great use of visions and dreams, he merely sought by their 

_ means to enhance his episcopal authority. In several cases, however, they excited 

_ doubts and incredulity among people ; cp. 32. Ixvi. 10: ‘‘ Scio somnia ridicula et 
visiones ineptas quibusdam videri” (‘‘I know that to some people dreams seem 
absurd and visions senseless”’). This is significant. 

1 H.E., iii. 37: “Α great many wonderful works of the Holy Spirit were 

_ wrought in the primitive age through the pupils of the apostles, so that whole 
multitudes of people, on first hearing the word, suddenly accepted with -the 
utmost readiness faith in the Creator of the universe.” 

3 In c. Cels., II. viii., he only declares that he himself has seen still more 
miracles, The age of miracles therefore lay for Origen in earlier days. In II, 
xlviii. he puts a new face on the miracles of Jesus and his apostles by interpreting 
them not only as symbolic of certain truths, but also as intended to win over 
many hearts to the wonderful doctrine of the gospel. Exorcisms and cures are 
represented by him as still continuing to occur (frequently ; cp. I. vi.),. From 
I. ii. we see how he estimated the present and the past of Christianity: ‘‘ For 
our faith there is one especial proof, unique and superior to any advanced by aid 
of Grecian dialectic. This diviner proof is characterised by the apostle as ‘the 
demonstration of the Spirit and of power’—‘ the demonstration of the Spirit’ on 
account of the prophecies which are capable of producing faith in hearer and 
reader, ‘the demonstration of power’ on account of the extraordinary wonders, 
whose reality can be proved by this circumstance, among many other things, that 
traces of them still exist among those who live according to the will of the Logos.” 


Paul describes this object as the edification of the entire church,} 
while, as regards the individual, it is the new creation of man 
from death to life, from a worthless thing into a thing of value. 
This edification means a growth in all that is good (cp. Gal. v. 
22: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control”), and the 
evidence of power is that God has not called many wise after 
the flesh, nor many noble, but poor and weak men, whom he 
has transformed into morally robust and intelligent natures. 
Moral regeneration and the moral life were not merely one side 
of Christianity to Paul, but its very fruit and goal on earth. 
The entire labour of the Christian mission might be described 
as a moral enterprise, as the awakening and strengthening of 
the moral sense. Such a description would not be inadequate 
to its full contents. 

Paul’s opinion was shared by Christians of the sub-apostolic 
age, by the apologists and great Christian fathers like Tertullian 5 

1 Cp. pseudo-Clem., de Virgin., I. xi, : ‘‘ Ilo igitur charismate, quod a domino 
accepisti, illo inservi fratribus pneumaticis, prophetis, qui dignoscant dei esse 
verba ea, quae loqueris, et enarra quod accepisti charisma in ecclesiastico conventu 
ad aedificationem fratrum tuorum in Christo” (‘‘ Therefore with that spiritual gift 
which thou hast received from the Lord, serve the spiritual brethren, even the 

| prophets, who know that the words thou speakest are of God, and declare the gift — 
_ thou hast received in the church-assembly to the edification of thy brethren in Christ”), — 

2 The highly characteristic passage in Afo/., xlv., may be quoted in this con- 
nection: ‘‘ Nos soli innocentes, quid mirum, si necesse est? enim vero necesse 
est. Innocentiam a deo edocti et perfecte eam novimus, ut a perfecto magistro 
revelatam, et fideliter custodiamus, ut ab incontemptibili dispectore mandatam. 
Vobis autem humana aestimatio innocentiam tradidit, humana item dominatio 

imperavit, inde nec plenae nec adeo timendae estis disciplinae ad innocentiae — 

veritatem. Tanta est prudentia hominis ad demonstrandum bonum quanta 
auctoritas ad exigendum ; tam illa falli facilis quam ἰδία contemni, Atque adeo 
quid plenius, dicere: Non occides, an docere: ne irascaris quidem?” etc. (‘* We, 
then, are the only innocent people, Is that at all surprising, if it is inevitable? 

And inevitable it is. Taught of God what innocence is, we have a perfect — 

knowledge of it as revealed by a perfect teacher, and we also guard it faithfully as 

commanded by a judge who is not to be despised, But as for you, innocence has 

merely been introduced among you by human opinions, and it is enjoined by 
nothing better than human rules; hence your moral discipline lacks the fulness 
and authority requisite for the production of true innocence. Human skill in 
pointing out what is good is no greater than human authority in enforcing 
obedience to what is good ; the one is as easily deceived as the other is disobeyed. 
And so, which is the ampler rule—to say, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ or ‘Thou shalt 
not so much as be angry’ ?”’). 

see Ὁ Sen eee πος, 



and Origen. Read the Didaché and the first chapter of Clemens 

Romanus, the conclusion of Barnabas, the homily entitled 
“Second Clement,” the “Shepherd” of Hermas, or the last 
chapter of the Apology of Aristides, and everywhere you find 
the ethical demands occupying the front rank. ‘They are 
thrust forward almost with weariesome diffuseness and with 
a rigorous severity. Beyond all question, these Christian 
communities seek to regulate their common life by principles 
of the strictest morality, tolerating no unholy members in their 
midst, and well aware that with the admission of immorality 
their very existence at once ceases. ‘The fearful punishment to 

_which Paul sentences the incestuous person (1 Cor. v.) is not 

exceptional. Gross sinners were always ejected from the church. 
Even those who consider all religions, including Christianity, 

to be merely idiosyncrasies, and view progress as_ entirely 

identical with the moral progress of mankind—even such 
observers must admit that in these days progress did depend 
upon the Christian churches, and that history then had recourse 
to a prodigious and paradoxical system of levers in order to 

gain a higher level of human evolution. Amid all the con- 

vulsions of the soul and body produced by the preaching of a 

_ judgment which was imminent, and amid the raptures excited 

αν» Ὁ αὖ 

by the Spirit of Christ, morality advanced to a position of 
greater purity and security. Above all, the conflict undertaken 
by Christianity was one against sins of the flesh, such as 
fornication, adultery, and unnatural vices. In the Christian 
communities monogamy was held to be the sole permissible 
union of the sexes. The indissoluble character of marriage 

1 Martyr. Apoll., xxvi,: ‘‘ There is a distinction between death and death. 
For this reason the disciples of Christ die daily, torturing their desires and morti- 
fying them according to the divine scriptures; for we have no part at all in 
shameless desires, or scenes impure, or glances lewd, or ears attentive to evil, lest 
our souls thereby be wounded.” 

* It formed part of the preparation for Christianity that monogamy had almost 
established itself by this time among the Jews and throughout the Empire as the 
one legal form of union between the sexes. Christianity simply proclaimed as an 
ordinance of God what had already been carried out. Contrary practices, such as 
concubinage, were still tolerated, but they counted for little in the social 
organism. Of course the verdict on ‘‘ fornicatio ” throughout the Empire generally 
was just as lax as it had always been, and even adultery on the man’s side was 

hardly condemned, The church had to join issue on these points. 

was inculcated (apart from the case of adultery),' and marriage — 
was also secured by the very difficulties which second marriages — 
encountered.? Closely bound up with the struggle against — 
carnal sins was the strict prohibition of abortion and the 
exposure of infants.? Christians further opposed covetousness, 
greed, and dishonesty in business life; they attacked mammon- 
worship in every shape and form, and the pitiless temper which 
is its result. Thirdly, they combated double-dealing and 
falsehood. It was along these three lines, in the main, that — 
Christian preaching asserted itself in the sphere of morals. — 
Christians were to be pure men, who do not cling to their 
possessions and are not self-seeking ; moreover, they were to be — 
truthful and brave. | 
The apologists shared the views of the sub-apostolic fathers. 
At the close of his Apology, addressed to the public of paganism, 
Aristides exhibits the Christian life in its purity, earnestness, — 
and love, and is convinced that in so doing he is expressing all 
that is most weighty and impressive in it. Justin follows suit. 
Lengthy sections of his great Apology are devoted to a state- 
ment of the moral principles in Christianity, and to a proof | 
that these are observed by Christians. Besides, all the apologists 
rely on the fact that even their opponents hold goodness to be | 
good and wickedness to be evil. ‘They consider it superfluous — 
to waste their time in proving that goodness is really goodness ;_ 
they can be sure of assent to this proposition. What they seek 
to prove is that goodness among Christians is not an impotent 
claim or a pale ideal, but a power which is developed on all 
sides and actually exercised in life.t It was of special import- 


1 We may ignore casuistry in this connection. 

2 The second century was filled with discussions and opinions about the per- 
missibility of second marriages. 

3 Cp. the Didaché; Athenag., Sf/., xxxv., etc. (above, p. 123). 

4 Celsus distinctly admits that the ethical ideas of Christianity agree with those 
of the philosophers (I. iv.) ; cp. Tert., AZo/., xlvi. : ‘‘Eadem, inquit, et philo- 
sophi monent atque profitentur ” (‘‘ These very things, we are told, the philosophers 
also counsel and profess”). Here too we must, however, recognize a complexio— 
oppositorum, and that in a twofold sense. On the one hand, morality, viewed in ~ 
its essence, is taken as self-evident ; a general agreement prevails on this (purity 
in all the relationships of life, perfect love to one’s neighbours, etc.). On the 
other hand, under certain circumstances it is still maintained that Christian ethics — 
are qualitatively distinct from all other ethics, and that they cannot be understood 


ance to them to be able to show (cp. the argument of the 
apostle Paul) that what was weak and poor and ignoble rose 
thereby to strength and worth. ‘They say of us, that we 
gabble nonsense among females, half-grown people, girls, and 
old women.' Not so. Our maidens ‘ philosophize, and at their 
distaffs speak of things divine” (Tatian, Orat., xxxiii.). ‘“'The 
poor, no less than the well-to-do, philosophize with us” (ébid., 
xxxii.). ‘Christ has not, as Socrates had, merely philosophers 
and scholars as his disciples, but also artizans and people of no 
education, who despise glory, fear, and death.”2 “ Among us 
are uneducated folk, artizans, and old women who are utterly 
unable to describe the value of our doctrines in words, but who 
attest them by their deeds.”? Similar retorts are addressed by 

or practised apart from the Spirit of God. This estimate answers to the double 
description given of Christian morality, which on one side is correct behaviour in 
every relationship on earth, while on the other side it is a divine life and conduct, 
which is supernatural and based on complete asceticism and mortification, This 
extension of the definition of morality, which is most conspicuous in Tatian, was 
not, however, the original creation of Christianity ; it was derived from the ethics 
of the philosophers. Christianity merely took it over and modified it. This is 
easily understood, if we read Philo, Clement, and Origen. 

1 Celsus, III. xliv. : ‘‘ Christians must admit that they can only persuade people 
destitute of sense, position, or intelligence, only slaves, women, and children, to 
to accept their faith.” : 

2 Justin, Afo/., 11. x. Headds: δύναμίς ἐστιν τοῦ ἀρρήτου πατρὸς καὶ οὐχὶ 
ἀνθρωπείου λόγου κατασκευή (‘‘ He is a power of the ineffable Father, and no mere 
instrument of human reason”), So Diognet., vii.: ταῦτα ἀνθρώπου od δοκεῖ τὰ ἔργα, 
ταῦτα δύναμίς ἐστι θεοῦ (‘‘ These do not look like human works ; they are the 
power of God”). 

3 Athenag., Suff/., xi. ; cp. also Justin, Afo/., I. lx. : παρ᾽ ἡμῖν οὖν ἐστι ταῦτα 
ἀκοῦσαι καὶ μαθεῖν παρὰ τῶν οὐδὲ τοὺς χαρακτῆρας τῶν στοιχείων ἐπισταμένων, 
ἰδιωτῶν μὲν καὶ βαρβάρων τὸ φθέγμα, σοφῶν δὲ καὶ πιστῶν τὸν νοῦν ὄντων, καὶ 
πηρῶν καὶ χήρων τινῶν τὰς ὄψεις " ὡς συνεῖναι οὐ σοφίᾳ ἀνθρωπείᾳ ταῦτα γεγονέναι, 
ἀλλὰ δυνάμει θεοῦ λεγέσθαι (‘‘ Among us you can hear and learn these things from 
people who do not even know the forms of letters, who are uneducated and barbar- 
ous in speech, but wise and believing in mind, though some of them are even 
maimed and blind. From this you may understand these things are due to no 
human wisdom, but are uttered by the power of God”). Tertull., 4/0.., xlvi. : 
** Deum quilibet opifex Christianus et invenit, et ostendit, et exinde totum quod in 
deum quaeritur re quoque adsignat, licet Plato adfirmet factitatorem universitatis 
neque inveniri facilem et inventum enarrari in omnes difficilem ” (‘‘ There is not a 
Christian workman who does not find God, and manifest him, and proceed to 
ascribe to him all the attributes of deity, although Plato declares the maker of the 
universe is hard to find, and hard, when found, to be expounded to all and 
sundry ἢ). 

VOL. I, 14 


Origen to Celsus (in his second book), and by Lactantius — 
(nstit., VI. iv.) to his opponents. 

A whole series of proofs is extant, indicating that the high © 
level of morality enjoined by Christianity and the moral con- 
duct of the Christian societies were intended to promote, and 
and actually did promote, the direct interests of the Christian 
mission.! The apologists not infrequently lay great stress on 
this.2. Tatian mentions “the excellence of its moral doctrines” 
as one of the reasons for his conversion (Orat., xxix.), while 
Justin declares that the steadfastness of Christians convinced 
him of their purity, and that these impressions proved decisive 
in bringing him over to the faith (Apol., II. xii.). We fre- 
quently read in the Acts of the Martyrs (and, what is more, in 
the genuine sections) that the steadfastness and loyalty οὗ 
Christians made an overwhelming impression on those who wit- 
nessed their trial or execution ; so much so, that some of these 
spectators suddenly decided to become Christians themselves.® 

1 Ignat., ad Hphes., x.: ἐπιτρέψατε αὐτοῖς (2.¢., the heathen) κἂν ἐκ τῶν ἔργων — 
ὑμῖν μαθητευθῆναι " πρὸς Tas ὀργὰς αὐτῶν ὑμεῖς πραεῖς, πρὸς τὰς μεγαλορρημοσύνας 
αὐτῶν ὑμεῖς ταπεινόφρονες, πρὸς τὰς βλασφημίας αὐτῶν ὑμεῖς τὰς προσευχάς. . ., 
μὴ σπουδάζοντες ἀντιμιμήσασθαι αὐτούς ᾿ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτῶν εὑρεθῶμεν τῇ ἐπιεικείᾳ " 
μιμητὰι τοῦ κυρίου σπουδάζωμεν εἶναι (‘‘ Allow them to learn a lesson at least from 
your works, Be meek when they break out in anger, be humble against their 
vaunting words, set your prayers ayainst their blasphemies . . . . ; be not zealous _ 
to imitate them in requital. Let us show ourselves their brethren by our forbear- 
ance, and let us be zealous to be imitators of the Lord”). | 

2 Cp. also 2 Clem., lxiii.: τὰ ἔθνη ἀκούοντα ἐκ Tod στόματος ἡμῶν τὰ λόγια TOD Υ 
θεοῦ ὡς καλὰ καὶ μεγάλα θαυμάζει " ἔπειτα καταμαθόντα τὰ ἔργα ἡμῶν ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν 
ἄξια τῶν ῥημάτων ὧν λέγομεν, ἔνθεν εἰς βλασφημίαν τρέπονται, λέγοντες εἶναι 
μῦθόν τινα καὶ πλάνην (‘‘ When the Gentiles hear from our mouth the words οὐ 
God, they wonder at their beauty and greatness ; then, discovering our deeds are 
not worthy of the words we utter, they betake themselves to blasphemy, declaring 
it is alla myth and error”). Such instances therefore did occur. Indirectly, nee 
are a proof of what is argued above, 

3 Even the second oldest martyrdom of which we know, that of James, the son 
of Zebedee, as related by Clement of Alexandria in his Hypotyposes (cp. Eus., 
H.£E., ii. 9), tells how the accuser himself was converted and beheaded along — 
with the apostle. —All Christians recognised that the zenith of Christian morality 
was reached when the faith was openly confessed before the authorities, but the _ 
sectarian Heracleon brought forward another view, which of course they took — 
seriously amiss. His contention was that such contccaion in words might be — 
hypocritical as well as genuine, and that the only conclusive evidence was that 
afforded by the steady profession which consists in words and actions answering” 
to the faith itself (Clem. Alex., Stvom., IV. ix. 71 f.). 

eine ct. 



But it is in Cyprian’s treatise “to Donatus” that we get the 
most vivid account of how a man was convinced and won 
over to Christianity, not so much by its moral principles, as 
i by the moral energy which it exhibited. Formerly he con- 
sidered it impossible to put off the old man and put on the new. 
But “after I had breathed the heavenly spirit in myself, and 
the second birth had restored me to a new manhood, then 
_ doubtful things suddenly and strangely acquired certainty for 
me. What was hidden disclosed itself; darkness became en- 
lightened ; what was formerly hard seemed feasible, and what 
had appeared impossible seemed capable of being done.” 
Tertullian and Origen speak in similar terms. 
But it isnot merely Christians themselves who bear witness 
that they have been lifted into a new world of moral power, of 
earnestness, and of holiness; even their opponents bear testi- 
mony to their purity of life. The abominable charges circulated 
by the Jews against the moral life of Christians did hold their 
_ own for a long while, and were credited by the common people 
as well as by many of the educated classes! But anyone who 
examined the facts found something very different. Pliny told 
Trajan that he had been unable to prove anything criminal or 
_ vicious on the part of Christians during all his examination of 
_ them, and that, on the contrary, the purpose of their gatherings 
was to make themselves more conscientious and _ virtuous.” 

ee a 


oe BA 

= le 

1 Probably, ¢.g., by Fronto, the teacher of M. Aurelius (cp. the Octavius of 
Minutius Felix), and also by Apuleius, if the woman described in A/e/am,, ix. 14 
(omnia prorsus ut in quandam caenosam latrinam in eius animam flagitia con- 
_ fluxerant—‘‘every vice had poured into her soul, as into some foul cesspool’’) 
_ was a Christian (spretis atque calcatis divinis numinibus invicem certae religionis 

mentita sacrilega presumptione dei, quem praedicaret unicum—‘‘scorning and 
_ spurning the holy deities in place of the true religion, she affected to entertain a 
sacrilegious conception of God—the only God, as she proclaimed”), The orator 
Aristides observed in the conduct of Christians a mixture of humility and arrogance, 
in which he finds a resemblance between them and the Jews (Oraz., xlvi.). This 
is his most serious charge, and ares raises a similar objection (see Book III., 
Chapter V.). 

2 ἐς Adfirmabant autem [Ζ.6., the Christians under examination] hanc fuisse sum- 
‘mam vel culpae suae vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire 
_ carmenque Christo quasi deo dicere secum invicem, seque sacramento non in scelus 
' aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria committerent, ne fidem 
᾿ fallerent, ne depositum appellati abnegarent : (‘* They maintained that the head 
᾿ and front of their offending or error had been this, that they were accustomed on 

ee “ὧν αν ew 


Lucian represents the Christians as credulous fanatics, but 
also as people of a pure life, of devoted love, and of a courage 
equal to death itself. The last-named feature is also admitted — 
by Epictetus and Aurelius! Most important of all, however, 
is the testimony of the shrewd physician Galen. He writes (in 
his treatise? ‘de Sententiis Politiz Platonicee”) as follows :— 
“Hominum plerique orationem demonstrativam continuam 
morte assequi nequeunt, quare indigent, ut instituantur para- 
bolis. veluti nostro tempore videmus homines illos, qui Chris- 
tiani vocantur, fidem suam e parabolis petiisse. Hi tamen 
interdum talia faciunt, qualia qui vere philosophantur. Nam 
quod mortem contemnunt, id quidem omnes ante oculos habe- 
mus; item quod verecundia quadam ducti ab usu rerum venere- 
arum abhorrent. sunt enim inter eos et feminae et viri, qui 
per totam vitam a concubitu abstinuerint ;* sunt etiam qui in 

a stated day to assemble ere daylight and sing in turn a hymn to Christ as a god, 
and also that they bound themselves by an oath, not for any criminal end, but to 
avoid theft or robbery or adultery, never to break their word, or to repudiate a 
deposit when called upon to refund it’’). 

! Both of course qualify their admission. Epictetus (Arrian, Zpzct. Diss., iv. 
7. 6) declares that the Galileans’ ἀφοβία before tyrants was due to habit, while 
Aurelius attributes the readiness of Christians to die, to ostentation (J/ed., xi. 3). 

2 Extant in Arabic in the H7s¢, antecslam. Abulfedae (ed. Fleischer, p. 109). Cp. 
Kalbfleisch in the Festschrift fiir Gomperz (1902), pp. 96 f., and Norden’s Azmst- 
prosa, pp. 518 f. 

3 From the time of Justin (and probably even earlier) Christians were always — 
pointing, by way of contrast to the heathen, to the group of their brethren and _ 
sisters who totally abjured marriage. Obviously they counted on the fact that 
such conduct would evoke applause and astonishment even among their opponents — 
(even castration was known, as in the case of Origen and of another person — 
mentioned by Justin). Nor was this calculation quite mistaken, for the religious © 
philosophy of the age was ascetic. Still, the applause was not unanimous, even 
among strict moralists. The pagan in Macarius Magnes, III. xxxvi. (2.2., 
Porphyry) urged strongly against Paul that in 1 Tim, iv. 1 he censures those who — 
forbid marriage, while in 1 Cor. vii. he recommends celibacy, even although he 
has to admit he has no word of the Lord upon virgins. ‘‘ Then is it not wrong 
to live as a celibate, and also to refrain from marriage at the order of a mere 
man, seeing that there is no command of Jesus extant upon celibacy? And how — 
can some women who live as virgins boast so loudly of the fact, declaring they are 
filled with the Holy Ghost \ike her who bore Jesus?” The suspicious attitude ᾿ 
of the early Christians towards sexual intercourse (even in marriage) comes out in 
Paul unmistakably. On this point the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (beginning — 
with the Acts of Paul) are specially significant, as they mirror the popular ideas — 
on the subject. The following facts may be set down in this connection. — 
(1) Marriage was still tolerated as a concession to human weakness. (2) The 

τ oy 




I ae 

TES τον ἐς 



animis regendis coercendisque et in acerrimo honestatis studio 
eo progressi sint, ut nihil cedant vere philosophantibus.”+ One 
can hardly imagine a more impartial and brilliant testimony to 
the morality of Christians. Celsus, too, a very prejudiced critic 
of Christians, finds no fault with their moral conduct. Every- 
thing about them, according to him, is dull, mean, and deplor- 
able; but he never denies them such morality as is possible 
under the circumstances. 

As the proof of “ the Spirit and of power” subsided after the 
beginning of the third century, the extraordinary moral tension 
also became relaxed, paving the way gradually for a morality 
which was adapted to a worldly life, and which was no longer 
equal to the strain of persecution.2 This began as far back as 
the second century, in connection with the question, whether 
any, and if so what, post-baptismal sins could be forgiven., 
restriction of sexual intercourse, or even entire abstinence from it, was advocated 
and urgently commended. (3) Second marriage was designated ‘‘a specious 
adultery” (εὐπρεπὴς μοιχεία). (4) Virgins were persuaded to remain as they 
were. (5) Instead of marriage, platonic ties (‘‘ virgines subintroducte”) were 
formed, audaciously and riskily. Cp. Tertull., de Resurr., viii. : ‘‘ Virginitas et 
viduitas et modesta in occulto matrimonii dissimulatio et una notitia eius 
(‘‘ Virginity and widowhood and secret self-restraint upon the marriage-bed and 
the sole practical recognition of that restraint [¢.e., monogamy]”). Such, in the 

order of diminuendo, were the four forms assumed by sexual asceticism. 
 ** As a rule, men are unable to follow consecutively any argumentative speech, 

so that they need to be educated by means of parables. Just as in our own 

day we see the people who are called Christians seeking their faith from parables, 
Still, they occasionally act just as true philosophers do. For their contempt of 
death is patent to us all, as is their abstinence from the use of sexual organs, by a 
certain impulse of modesty. For they include women and men who refrain from 
cohabiting all through their lives, and they also number individuals who in ruling 
and controlling themselves, and in their keen pursuit of virtue, have attained a 
pitch not inferior to that of real philosophers.” Galen, of course, condemns the 
faith of Christians as a mere obstinate adherence to what is quite unproven: 
περὶ διαφορᾶς σφυγμῶν, 11. iv. (ἵνα μή τις εὐθὺς κατ᾽ ἀρχάς, ws els Μωυσοῦ καὶ 
Χριστοῦ διατριβὴν ἀφιγμένος, νόμων ἀναποδείκτων ἀκούῃ----““ὙΠπαὶ no one may 

hastily give credence to unproven laws, as if he had reached the way of life 

enjoined by Moses and Christ”), and III. 111, (θᾶττον ἄν τις τοὺς ἀπὸ Μωυσοῦ καὶ 
Χριστοῦ μεταδιδάξειεν ἢ τοὺς ταῖς αἵρεσι προστετηκότας ἰατρούς τε καὶ φιλοσόφους 
—‘*One could more easily teach novelties to the adherents of Moses and Christ 
than to doctors and philosophers who are stuck fast in the schools’’), 

2 The number of those who lapsed during the persecutions of Decius and 
Diocletian was extraordinarily large; but Tertullian had already spoken of 
‘people who are only Christians if the wind happens to be favourable ” 
(Scorp., i.). . 

But the various stages of the process cannot be exhibited in 
these pages. It must suffice to remark that from about 230 a.p. 
onwards, many churches followed the lead of the Roman church 
in forgiving gross bodily sins, whilst after 251 a.p. most churches 
also forgave sins of idolatry. ‘Thus the circle was complete; only 
in one or two cases were crimes of exceptional atrocity denied — 
forgiveness, implying that the offender was not re-admitted to 
the church. It is quite obvious from the later writings of 
Tertullian (“nostrorum bonorum status iam mergitur,” de 
Pudic., i.), and from many a stinging remark in Origen’s com- 
mentaries, that even by 220 a.p. the Christian churches, together 
with their bishops and clergy, were no longer what they had 
previously been, from a moral point of view ;! nevertheless (as 
Origen expressly emphasizes against Celsus; cp. IIL. xxix.-xxx.) 
their morals still continued to excel the morals of other guilds 
within the empire and of the population in the cities, whilst 
the penitential ordinances between 251 and 325, of which we — 
possess no small number, point to a very earnest endeavour being 
made to keep up morality and holiness of life. Déspite their 
moral deterioration, the Christian churches must have still con- 
tinued to wield a powerful influence and fascination for people 
of a moral disposition. 

But here again we are confronted with the complexio opposi- 
torum. For the churches must have also produced a powerful — 
effect upon people in every degree of moral weakness, just on — 
account of that new internal development which had culminated — 
about the middle of the third century. If the churches hitherto — 
had been societies which admitted people under the burden of 
sin, not denying entrance even to the worst offender, but secur- 
ing him forgiveness with God and thereafter requiring him to 
contmue pure and holy, now they had established themselves — 
voluntarily or imvoluntarily as societies based upon unlimited — 
forgiveness. Along with baptism, and subsequent to it, they — 
had now developed a second sacrament ; it was still without — 
form, but they relied upon it as a thing which had form, and | 
considered themselves justified in applying it in almost every — 

1 The ‘‘ Shepherd” of Hermas shows, however, the amount of trouble which : 
even at an earlier period had to be eucountine. 

ee a a γιά 


eS ay eS rt le 

OEE IS ng 


case—it was the sacrament of penitence. Whether this develop- 
ment enabled them to meet the aims of their Founder better 
than their more rigorous predecessors, or whether it removed 
them further from these aims, is not a question upon which we 
need to enter. The point is, that now for the first time the 
attractive power of Christianity as a religion of pardon came 
fully into play. No doubt, everything depended on the way in 
which pardon was applied, but it was not merely a frivolous 
scoff on the part of Julian the apostate when he pointed out 
that the way in which the Christian churches preached and 
administered forgiveness was injurious to the best interests of 
morality, and that there were members in the Christian churches 
whom no other religious societies would tolerate within their 
bounds. ‘The feature which Julian censured had arisen upon a 
wide scale as far back as the second half of the third century. 
When clerics of the same church started to quarrel with each 
other, as in the days of Cyprian at Carthage, they instantly 
flung at each other the most heinous charges of fraud, of adultery, 
and even of murder. One asks, in amazement and indignation, 
why the offending presbyter or deacon had not been long ago 
expelled from the church, if such accusations were correct? ΤῸ 
this question no answer can be given. Besides, even if these 
repeated and almost stereotyped charges were not in every case 
well founded, the not less serious fact remains that one brother 
wantonly taxed another with the most heinous crimes. It reveals 
a laxity that would not have been possible, had not a fatal 
influence been already felt from the reverse side of the religion 
of the merciful heart and of forgiveness. 

Still, this forgiveness is not to be condemned by the mere fact 
that it was extended to worthless characters. We are not 
called upon to be its judges. We must be content to ascertain, 
as we have now ascertained, that while the character of the 
Christian religion, as a religion of morality, suffered some 
injury in the course of the third century, this certainly did not 
impair its powers of attraction. It was now sought after as the 
religion which formed a permanent channel of forgiveness to 
mankind. Which was partly due, no doubt, to the fact that 
different groups of people were now appealing to it. 


Yet, if this sketch of the characteristics of Christianity is not 
to be left unfinished two things must still be noted. One is 
this: the church never sanctioned the thesis adopted by most of 
the gnostics,! that there was a qualitative distinction of human 
beings according to their moral capacities, and that in conse- 
quence of this there must also be different grades in their 
ethical conduct and in the morality which might be expected 
from them. But there was a primitive distinction between 
a morality for the perfect and a morality which was none the 
less adequate, and this distinction was steadily maintained. 
Even in Paul there are evident traces of this view alongside of 
a strictly uniform conception. The Catholic doctrine of 
“preecepta” and “consilia” prevailed almost from the first 
within the Gentile church, and the words of the Didaché which 
follow the description of “the two ways” (c. vi: “If thou 
canst bear the whole yoke of the Lord, thou shalt be perfect : 
but if thou canst not, do what thou canst”) only express a 
conviction which was very widely felt. ‘The distinction between 
the “children” and the “ mature” (or perfect), which originally 
obtained within the sphere of Christian knowledge, overflowed 
into the sphere of conduct, since both spheres were closely 
allied.?, Christianity had always her heroic souls in asceticism 
and poverty and so forth. They were held in exceptional 
esteem (see above), and they had actually to be warned, even 

1 It is surprising that the attractiveness of these (gnostic) ideas was not greater 
than it seems to have been. But by the time that they sought to establish their 
position on Christian soil or to force their way in, the church’s organisation was 
well knit together, so that gnosticism could do no more in the way of breaking it 
up or creating a rival institution. 

2 The ascetics are not only the ‘‘ perfect’? but also the ‘“‘ religious,” strictly 
speaking. Cp, Origen (Hom. ii. 72 Mum., vol. x. p. 20), who describes virgins, 
ascetics, and so forth, as those ‘‘ qui in professione religionis videntur ” ; also Hom, 
xvil. 2 Luc. (vol. v. p. 151), where, on 1 Cor, i. 2, he observes: ‘* Memini cum 
interpretarer 1 Cor. i, 2 dixisse me diversitatem ecclesiae et eorum qui invocant 
nomen domini. Puto enim monogamum et virginem et eum, qui in castimonia 
perseverat, esse de ecclesia dei, eum vero, qui sit digamus, licet bonam habeat 
conversationem et ceteris virtutibus polleat, tamen non esse de ecclesia et de 
numero, qui non habent rugam aut maculam aut aliquid istius modi, sed esse de 
secundo gradu et de his qui invocant nomen domini, et qui salvantur quidem in 
nomine Jesu Christi, nequaquam tamen coronantur ab eo” (church=virgins, 
ascetics, and the once married: those who call on the name of the Lord=the 
second rank, Ζ2.6., the twice married, even though their lives are pure otherwise). 


in the sub-apostolic age, against pride and boasting (cp. Ignat., 

_ ad Polyc. v.: εἴ τις δύναται ἐν ἁγνείᾳ μένειν εἰς τιμὴν τῆς σαρκὸς 
τοῦ κυρίου, ἐν ἀκαυχησίᾳ μενέτω " ἐάν καυχήσηται, ἀπώλετο---“ If 

_ anyone is able to remain in purity to the honour of the flesh of 
the Lord, let him remain as he is without boasting of it. If he 
boast, he is a lost man ;” also Clem. Rom., xxxviii.: ὁ ἁγνὸς ἐν 
τῇ σαρκὶ ἤτω καὶ μὴ ἀλαζονευέσθω--- Let him that is pure in 
the flesh remain so and not boast about it”). It was in these 
ascetics of early Christianity that the first step was taken towards 

Secondly, veracity in matters of fact is as liable to suffer as 
righteousness in every religion: every religion gets encumbered 
with fanaticism, the indiscriminate temper, and fraud. This is 
writ clear upon the pages of church history from the very first. 
In the majority of cases, in the case of miracles that have never 
happened, of visions that were never seen, of voices that were 
never heard, and of books that were never written by their 
alleged authors, we are not in a position at this time of day to 
decide where self-deception ended and where fraud began, where 
enthusiasm became deliberate and then passed into conventional 
deception, any more than we are capable of determining, as a rule, 
where a harsh exclusiveness passes into injustice and fanaticism. 
We must content ourselves with determining that cases of this 
kind were unfortunately not infrequent, and that their number 
increased. What we call priestcraft and miracle-fraud were not 

_absent from the third or even from the second century. ‘They 
are to be found in the Catholic church as well as in several of 
the gnostic conventicles, where water was changed into wine (as 
by the Marcosians) or wine into water (cp. the books of Jeii). 

Christianity, as the religion of the Spirit and of power, con- 

_ tained another element which proved of vital importance, and 
_which exhibited pre-eminently the originality of the new faith. 
This was its reverence for the lowly, for sorrow, suffering, and 
death, together with its triumphant victory over these contra- 
dictions of human life. The great incentive and example alike 
for the eliciting and the exercise of this virtue lay in the 
Redeemer’s life and cross. Blent with patience and hope, this 
reverence overcame any external hindrance; it recognised in 


suffering the path to deity, and thus triumphed in the midst of 
all its foes. ‘*Reverence for what is beneath us—this is the 
last step to which mankind were fitted and destined to attain. 
But what a task it was, not only to let the earth lie beneath us, 
we appealing to a higher birthplace, but also to recognize 
humility and poverty, mockery and despite, disgrace and 
wretchedness, suffering and death—to recognize these things as 
divine.” Here lies the Aoot of the most profound factor 
contributed by Christianity to the development of the moral 
sense, and contributed with perfect strength and delicacy. It 
differentiates itself, as an entirely original element, from the 
similar phenomena which recur in several of the philosophical 
schools (6.9... the Cynic). Not until a much later period, how- 
ever,—from Augustine onwards,—did this phase of feeling find 
expression in literature. 

Even what is most divine on earth has its shadow neverthe- 
less, and so it was with this reverence. It was inevitable that 
the new esthetic which it involved should become an esthetic 
of lower things, of death and its grim relics; in this way it 

ceased to be zesthetic by its very effort to attain the impossible, — 

until finally a much later period devised an esthetic of spiritual 
agony and raptures over suffering. But there was worse 
behind. Routine and convention found their way even 
into this phase of feeling. What was most profound and 
admirable was gradually stripped of its inner spirit and rendered 

positively repulsive? by custom, common talk, mechanical tra-— 

dition, and ritual practices. Yet, however strongly we feel 
about the unsightly phlegm of this corruption, and however 
indignantly we condemn it, we should never forget that it 
represented the shadow thrown by the most profound and at 
the same time the most heroic mood of the human soul in its 
spiritual exaltation ; it is, in fact, religion itself, fully ripe. 

ς ; 

1 Goethe, Wanderjahre, xxiv. p. 243. 

* Goethe (zdzd., p. 255) has said the right word on this as well: ‘‘ We draw a 
veil over those sufferings (the sufferings of Christ in particular), just because we 
reverence them so highly. We hold it is a damnable audacity to take these 
mysterious secrets, in which the depth of the divine sorrow lies hid, and play with 
them, fondle them, trick them out, and never rest until the supreme object of 
reverence appears vulgar and paltry.” 




“Some Christians [evidently not all] will not so much as give 
or accept any account of what they believe. They adhere to 
the watchwords ‘ Prove not, only believe,’ and ‘Thy faith shall 
save thee.” Wisdom is an evil thing in the world, folly a good 

thing.” So Celsus wrote about the Christians (I. ix.). In the 

course of his polemical treatise he brings forward this charge 
repeatedly in various forms; as in I. xii., ‘*’They say, in their 
usual fashion, ‘Enquire not’”; I. xxvi. f., ‘That ruinous 

_ saying of Jesus has deceived men. With his illiterate character 

and lack of eloquence he has gained of course almost no one but 
illiterate people”;! III. xliv., “The following rules are laid \ 
down by Christians, even by the more intelligent among them. 
‘Let none draw near to us who is educated, or shrewd, or wise. 
Such qualifications are in our eyes anevil. But let the ignorant, 
the idiots, and the fools come to us with confidence’”; vi. x. f., 
“Christians say, ‘ Believe first of all that he whom I announce 
to thee is the Son of God.” “All are ready to cry out, 
‘Believe if thou wilt be saved, or else begone.’ What, is 
wisdom among men they describe as foolishness with God, and 
their reason for this is their desire to win over none but the 
uneducated and simple by means of this saying.” Justin also 
represents Christians being charged by their opponents with 

1 Still Celsus adds that there are also one or two discreet, pious, reasonable 
people among the Christians, and some who are experts in intelligent argument. 


making blind assertions and giving no proof (Apol., I. lii.), 
while Lucian declares (Peregr., xiii.) that they “received such 
matters on faith without the slightest enquiry” (ἄνευ τινὸς 
ἀκριβοῦς πίστεως τὰ τοιαῦτα παρεδέξαντο). 

A description and a charge of this kind were not entirely 
unjustified. Within certain limits Christians have maintained, 
from the very first, that the human understanding has to be 
captured and humbled in order to obey the message of the 
gospel. Some Christians even go a step further. Bluntly, 
they require a blind faith for the word of God. When the 
apostle Paul views his preaching, not so much in its content as 
in its origin, as the word of God, and even when he notes the 
contrast between it and the wisdom of this world, his demand 
is for a firm, resolute faith, and for nothing else. “We bring 
every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 
x. 5), and—the word of the cross tolerates no σοφία λόγου 
(no wisdom of speech), it is to be preached as foolishness and 
apprehended by faith (1 Cor. i. 17 f.). Hence he also issues 
a warning against the seductions of philosophy (Col. ii. 8). 
Tertullian advanced beyond this position much more boldly. 
He prohibited Christians (de Prescr., viii. f.) from ever applying 
to doctrine the saying, “Seek, and ye shall find.” ‘ What,” 
he exclaims (op. cit., vii.), “what has Athens to do with 
Jerusalem, or the Academy with the church? What have 
heretics to do with Christians? Our doctrine originates with 
the porch of Solomon, who had himself taught that men must 
seek the Lord in simplicity of heart. Away with all who 
attempt to introduce a mottled Christianity of Stoicism and 
Platonism and dialectic! Now that Jesus Christ has come, no 
longer need we curiously inquire, or even investigate, since the 
gospel is preached. When we believe, we have no desire to 
sally beyond our faith. For our belief is the primary and 
palmary fact. There is nothing further that we have still to 
believe beyond our own belief. . . . . To be ignorant of every- 
thing outside the rule of faith, is to possess all knowledge.”* 

1 Cp. de Carne Christi, ii. : “51 propheta es, praenuntia aliquid ; si apostolus, 
praedica publice ; si apostolicus, cum apostolis senti ; si tantum Christianus es, 
crede quod traditum est” (‘‘ If you are a prophet, predict something ; if an apostle, 




Many missionaries may have preached in this way, not 
merely after but even previous to the stern conflict with 
gnosticism, Faith is a matter of resolve, a resolve of the will 
and a resolve to obey. ‘Trouble it not by any considerations of 
human reason ! 

Preaching of this kind is only possible if at the same time | 
some powerful authority is set up. And such an authority was 
set up. First and foremost (cp. Paul), it was the authority of 
the revealed will of God as disclosed in the mission of the Son Ὁ 
~to earth. Here external and internal authority blended and 
coincided, for while the divine will is certainly an authority in 
itself (according to Paul’s view), and is also capable of making 
itself felt as such, without men understanding its purpose and 
right (Rom. ix. f.), the apostle is equally convinced that God’s 
gracious will makes itself intelligible to the mner man. 

Still, even in Paul, the external and internal authority vested 
in the cross of Christ is accompanied by other authorities which 
claim the obedience of faith. These are the written word of 
the sacred documents and the sayings of Jesus. In their case 
also neither doubt nor contradiction is permissible. 

For all that, the great apostle endeavoured to reason out 
everything, and in the last resort it is never a question with 
him of any “sacrifice of the intellect” (see below). Some 
passages may seem to contradict this statement, but they only 
seem to do so. When Paul demands the obedience of faith and 
sets up the authority of “the word” or of “the cross,” he 
simply means that obedience of faith which is inseparable from 
any religion whatsoever, no matter how freely and spiritually it 
may be set forth. But, as Celsus and Tertullian serve to re- 
mind us (if any reminder at all is necessary on this point), many 
missionaries and teachers went about their work in a very 
different manner. They simply erected their authority wherever 
they went; it was the letter of Scripture more and more,} 
preach openly; if a follower of the apostles, think as they thought; if you are 

merely a Christian individual, believe tradition”). But faith was many a time 
more rigorous among the masses (the ‘‘simpliciores” or ‘‘ simplices et idiotae”) 

- than theologians—even than Tertullian himself—cared. Origen’s laments over 

this are numerous (cp., ¢g., de Princzp., iv. 8). 
' For details on the significance of the Bible in the mission, see Chapter VIII. 


but ere long it became the rule of faith, together with the 
church (the church as “the pillar and ground of the truth,” 
στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας, as early as 1 Tim. iii. 15), 
‘True, they endeavoured to buttress the authority of these two 
magnitudes, the Bible and the church, by means of rational 
arguments (the authority of the Bible being supported by the — 
proof from the fulfilment of prophecy, and that of the church 
by the proof from the unbroken tradition which reached back 
to Christ himself and invested the doctrine of the church with 
the vAlue of Christ’s own words). In so doing they certainly 
did not demand an absolutely blind belief. But, first of all, it 
was assuredly not every missionary or teacher who was 
competent to lead such proofs. They were adduced only by the 
educated apologists and controversialists. And in the second 
place, no inner anthority can ever be secured for the Bible and 
the church by means of external proofs. The latter really 
remained a sort of alien element. At bottom, the faith required 
was blind faith. | 
Still, it would be a grave error to suppose that for the 
majority of people the curt demand that authorities must be 
simply believed and reason repudiated, acted as a serious 
obstacle to their acceptance of the Christian religion.‘ In 
reality, it was the very opposite. The more peremptory and 
exclusive is the claim of faith which any religion makes, the 
more trustworthy and secure does that religion seem to the ~ 
majority ; the more it relieves them of the duty and responsi- _ 
bility of reflecting upon its truth, the more welcome it is. Any 
firmly established authority thus acts as a sedative. Nay more. 
The most welcome articles of faith are just the most paradoxical, 
which are a mockery of all experience and rational reflection ; 
the reason for this being that they appear to guarantee the — 

ail bs 
- ial 

+ τ ϑ».... 

ae Be De 

1 ie 

Cifes"sy D 

1 Naturally it did repel highly cultured men like Celsus and Porphyry. ‘or 
Celsus, see above, p. 219. Porphyry, the pagan in Macarius Magnes (IV. ix.), 
writes thus on Matt. xi. 25: ‘‘ As the mysteries are hidden from the wise and 
thrown down before minors and senseless sucklings (in which case, of course, even 
what is written for minors and senseless people should have been clear and free 
from obscurity), it is better to aim at a lack of reason and of education! And 
this is the very acme of Christ’s sojourn upon earth, to conceal the ray of know- 
ledge from the wise and to unveil it to the senseless and to small children !” 

δ 5... 00]. ἘΠ lig lth a en BL! a 


disclosure of divine wisdom and not of something which is 
merely human and therefore unreliable. ‘Miracle is the 
favourite child of faith.” That is true of more than miracles ; 
it applies also to the miraculous doctrines which cannot be 
appropriated by a man unless he is prepared to believe and obey 
them blindly. 

Βιιξ “50 long as the authorities consisted of books and , 
doctrines, the coveted haven of rest was still unreached. The , 
meaning of these doctrines always lies open to some doubt. 
Their scope, too, is never quite fixed. And, above all, their 
application to present-day questions is often a serious difficulty, 
which leads to painful and disturbing controversies. ‘ Blind 
faith” never gains its final haven until its authority is living, 
until questions can be put to it, and answers promptly received 
from it. During the first generations of Christendom no such 
authority existed; but in the course of the second century and 
_ down to the middle of the third, it was gradually taking shape | 
—I mean, the authority of the church as represented in the ’ 
episcopate. It did not dislodge the other authorities of God’s 
saving purpose and the holy Scripture, but by stepping to their 
side it pushed them into the background. 1716 auctoritas inter- 
pretiva is invariably the supreme and real authority. After the 
middle of the third century, the church and the episcopate 
developed so far that they exercised the functions of a sacred 
authority. And it was after that period that the church first 
advanced by leaps and bounds, till it became a church of the 
masses. For while the system of a living authority in the 
church had still defects and gaps of its own—since wr certain 
circumstances it either exercised its functions very gradually or 
could not enforce its claims at all—these defects did not exist 
for the masses. In the bishop or priest, or even in the ecclesi- 
astical fabric and the cultus, the masses were directly conscious 
of something holy and authoritative to which they yielded sub- 
mission, and this state of matters had prevailed for a couple of 
generations by the time that Constantine granted recognition 
and privileges to Christianity. 17.185 was the church on which 
he conferred privileges, this church with its enormous authority 
over the masses! These were the Christians whom he declared 


to be the support of the throne, people who clung to the 
bishops with submissive faith and who would not resist their 
divinely appointed authority! The Christianity that triumphed 
was the Christianity of blind faith, which Celsus has depicted. 
When would a State ever have shown any practical interest in 
any other kind of religion ? 


Christianity is a complexio oppositorum. 'The very Paul who 
would have reason brought into captivity, proclaimed that 
Christianity, in opposition to polytheism, was a “ reasonable 
service of God” (Rom. xii. 1, λογικὴ λατρεία), and declared 
that what pagans thought folly in the cross of Christ seemed 
so to those alone who were blinded, whereas what Christians 
preached was in reality the profoundest wisdom. He went on 
to declare that this was not merely reserved for us as a wisdom 
to be attained in the far future, but capable of being understood 
even at present by believers as such. He promised that he 
would introduce the “ perfect” among them to its mysteries.1 
This promise (cp., ¢.g., 1 Cor. ii. 6 f., σοφίαν ἐν τοῖς τελείοις) he 
made good; yet he never withheld this wisdom from those who 
were children or weak in spiritual things. He could not, indeed 
he dared not, utter all he understood of God’s word and the 
cross of Christ—)adovpev θεοῦ σοφίαν ἐν μυστηρίῳ THY ἀποκεκ- 
ρυμμένην (“ We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the 
hidden wisdom ”)—but he moved freely in the realm of history 
and speculation, drawing abundantly from “the depths of the 
riches and wisdom and knowledge of God.” In Paul one feels 
the joy of the thinker who enters into the thoughts of God, and 
who is convinced that in and with and through his faith he has 

1 For the ‘‘ perfect,” see p. 216. They constitute a special class for Paul. The 
distinction came to be sharply drawn at a later period, especially in the Alexandrian 
school, where one set of Christian precepts was formed for the ‘‘ perfect ” (‘* those 
who know ”’), another for believers. Christ himself was said by the Alexandrians 
(not merely by the gnostics) to have committed an esoteric doctrine to his intimate 
disciples, and to have provided for its transmission. Cp. Clement of Alexandria, 
as quoted in Eus., H.Z., ii. 1: Ἰακῶβῳ τῷ δικαίῳ καὶ Ἰωάννῃ καὶ Πέτρῳ μετὰ τὴν 
ἀνάστασιν παρέδωκεν τὴν γνῶσιν ὃ κύριος, οὗτοι τοῖς λοιποῖς ἀποστόλοις παρέδωκαν, 
x.t.A. (‘The Lord delivered all knowledge after the resurrection to James the 
Just, and John, and Peter ; they delivered it to the rest of the apostles,” etc. ). 


passed from darkness into light, from confusion, cloudiness, and 

__ oppression into the lucid air that frees the soul. 

* We have been rescued from darkness and lifted into the 

_ light ”—such was the chant which rose from a chorus of 
_ Christians during those early centuries. It was intellectual truth 
_ and lucidity in which they revelled and gloried. Polytheism 

seemed to them an oppressive night ; now that it was lifted off 
them, the sun shone clearly in the sky! Wherever they looked, 

_ everything became clear and sure in the light of spiritual mono- 
_ theism, owing to the living God. Read, for example, the 

_ epistle of Clemens Romanus,! the opening of the Clementine 

Homily,” or the epistle of Barnabas ;* listen to the apologists, 
or study Clement of Alexandria and Origen. They gaze at 
Nature, only to rejoice in the order and unity of its movement ; 
heaven and earth are a witness to them of God’s omnipotence 

and unity. They ponder the capacities and endowments of 

human nature, and trace in them the Creator. In human 

[ _ reason and liberty they extol his boundless goodness ; they com- 

pare the revelations and the will of God with this reason and 
freedom, and lo, there is entire harmony between them! Noth- 
ing is laid on man which does not already lie within him, 
nothing is revealed which is not already presupposed in his 
inward being. ‘The long-buried religion of nature, religion μετὰ 
λόγου, has been rediscovered.* They look at Christ, and scales 

- fall, as it were, from their eyes! What wrought in him was the 

Logos, the very Logos by which the world had been created and 
with which the spiritual essence of man was bound up inextric- 
ably, the Logos which had wrought throughout human history 
in all that was noble and good, and which was finally obliged to 

__ reveal its power completely in order to dissipate the obstacles 

1 Especially chap. xix. f. 

2 2Clem. i. 4f.: τὸ φὼς ἡμῖν ἐχαρίσατο εν νον πηροὶ ὄντες τῇ διανοίᾳ προσ- 
κυνοῦντες λίθους καὶ ζύλα καὶ χρυσὸν καὶ ἄργυρον καὶ χαλκὸν, ἔργα ἀνθρώπων... 
ἀμαύρωσιν οὖν περικείμενοι καὶ τοιαύτης ἀχλύος γέμοντες ἐν τῇ ὁράσει ἀπ ζέον 
a He bestowed on us the light . . . . we were blind in understanding, worship- 
ping stones and stocks and gold and silver and brass, the works of men... . . 
Thus, girt with darkness and oppressed by so thick a mist in our vision, we 
regained our sight”). There are numerous passages of a similar nature. 

3 Cp. chap. i., chap. ii. 2 f. 

4 Cp. Justin’s Afo/ogy, Tertullian’s tract de Testimonio Anime, ee 

VOL. I, 


and disorders by which man was beset—so weak was he, for all 
the glory of his creation. Lastly, they contemplate the course 
of history, its beginning, middle, and end, only to find a com- 
mon purpose everywhere, which is in harmony with a glorious 
origin and with a still- more glorious conclusion. The freedom 
of the creature, overcome by the allurements of demons, has 
occasioned disorders, but the disorders are to be gradually 
removed by the power of the Christ-Logos. At the commence- 
ment of history humanity was like a child, full of good and 
divine instincts, but as yet untried and liable to temptation; at 
the close, a perfected humanity will stand forth, fitted to enter 
immortality. Reason, freedom, immortality—these are to carry 
the day against error, failure, and decay. 

Such was the Christianity of many people, a bright and glad 
affair, the doctrine of pure reason. ‘The new doctrine proved a 
deliverance, not an encumbrance, to the understanding. Instead 
of imposing foreign matter on the understanding, it threw light 
upon its own darkened contents. Christianity is a divine 
revelation, but i is at the same time pure reason; i is the true 

_ Such was the conception entertained by most of the ipblowiaus 
and they tried to show how the entire content of Christianity 
was embraced by this idea. Anything that did not fit in, they 
left out. It was not that they rejected it. They simply ex- 
plained it afresh by means of their “ scientific” method, ἐ.6.. the 
method of allegorical spiritualizing, or else they relegated it to 
that great collection of evidence, the proof from prophecy. In 
this way, anything that seemed obnoxious or of no material 

value was either removed or else enabled to retain a formal — 

value as part of the striking proof which confirmed the divine 

character of Christianity. It is impossible in these pages to 

exhibit in detail the rational philosophy which thus emerged ;! 
for our immediate purpose it is enough to state that a prominent 
group of Christian teachers existed as late as the opening of the 
fourth century (for Lactantius was among their number) who 
held this conception of Christianity. As apologists and as 

* T have endeavoured to expound it in my Dogmengeschichte, 1.) pp. 462-507 
[Eng. trans., ili, 267 f.]. 



teachers ex cathedra they took an active part in the Christian 
mission. Justin,’ for example, had his “school,” no less than 
Tatian. The theologians in the royal retinue of Constantine 
also pursued this way of thinking, and it permeated any decree 
of Constantine that touched on Christianity, and especially his 
address to the holy council.2, When Eusebius wishes to make 
the new religion intelligible to the public at large, he describes 
it as the religion of reason and lucidity; see, for example, the 
first book of his church history and the life of Constantine with 
its appendices. _We might define all these influential teachers 
as “rationalists of the supernatural,” to employ a technical 
term of modern church history; but as the revelation was con- 
tinuous, commencing with creation, never ceasing, and ever in 
close harmony with the capacities of men, the term “super- 
natural” is really almost out of place in this connection. 'The 

_ outcome of it all was a pure religious rationalism, with a view 

of history all its own, in which, as was but natural, the final 
phenomena of the future tallied poorly with the course traversed 
in the earlier stages. From Justin, Commodian, and Lactantius, 
we learn how the older apocalyptic and the rationalistic moral- 
ism were welded together, without any umbrage being taken at 
the strange blend which this produced, 


But authority and reason, blind faith and clear insight, do 
not sum up all the forms in which Christianity was brought 

1 See the Acta Justinz, and his Apology. We know that Tatian had Rhodon as 
one of his pupils (Eus., #7. Z., v. 13). 
2 This address, even apart from its author, is perhaps the most impressive 

apology ever written (for its genuineness, see my Chronologie, ii. pp. 116 f., and 

Wendland in Phzlolog. Wochenschr., 1902, No. 8). It was impressive for half- 
educated readers, z.¢., for the educated public of those days. Very effectively, it 
concludes by weaving together the (fabricated) prophecies of the Sibylline oracles 
and the (interpolated) Eclogue of Virgil, and by contrasting the reign of Constantine 
with those of his predecessors. The Christianity it presents is exclusive ; even 
Socrates finds no favour, and Plato is sharply censured (ch. ix.) as well as praised. 
Still, it is tinged with Neoplatonism. The Son of God as such and as the Christ 
is put strongly in the foreground ; he is God, at once God’s Son and the hero of 
a real myth, But everything shimmers in a sort of speculative haze which 
corresponds to the style, the latter being poetic, flowery, and indefinite. 


before the world. ‘The mental standpoint of the age and its 
religious needs manifold that it was unwilling to forgo 
any form, even in Christianity, which was capable of transmit- 
ting anything of religious value. It was a complex age, and 
its needs made even the individual man complex. The very 
man who longed for an authority to which he might submit 
blindfold, often longed at the same moment for a reasonable 
religion; nor was he satisfied even when he had secured them 
both, but craved for something more, for sensuous pledges which 
gave him a material representation of holy things, and for 
symbols of mysterious power. Yet, after all, was this peculiar 
to that age? Was it only in these days that men have cherished 
such desires ἢ 

From the very outset of the Christian religion, its preaching 
Ἢ was accompanied by two outward rites, neither less nor more 
than two, viz., baptism and the Lord’s supper. We need not 
discuss either what was, or what was meant to be, their original 
significance. The point is, that whenever we enter the field of 
Gentile Christianity, their meaning is essentially fixed ; although 
Christian worship is to be a worship in spirit and in truth, these 
sacraments are sacred actions which operate on hfe, containing 
the forgiveness of sins, knowledge, and eternal life.t No doubt, 
the elements of water, bread, and wine are symbols, and the 
scene of operation is not external ; still, the symbols do actually 
convey to the soul all that they signify. Each symbol has a 
mysterious but real connection with the fact which it signifies. 

To speak of water, bread, and wine as holy elements, or of 
being immersed in water that the soul might be washed and — 
purified: to talk of bread and wine as body and blood, or as | 
the body and the blood of Christ, or as the soul’s food for im- 
mortality: to correlate water and blood—ail this kind of 
language was quite intelligible to that age. It was intelligible 
to the blunt realist, as well as to the most sublime among 
what may be called “the spiritualists.”. The two most sublime — 
spiritualists of the church, namely, John and Origen, were the 
most profound exponents of the mysteries, while the great gnostic — 

1 See the gospel of John, the epistle of John, and the Didaché with its sacra- 
mental prayer, 

«αὐδὴν. cl 
- m2. a {ὦ 

κι Tl aS 4. 


theologians linked on their most abstract theosophies to realistic 

_ mysteries. TZ'hey were all sacramental theologians. Christ, they 

held, had connected, and in fact identified, the benefits he 
brought to men with symbols; the latter were the channel 
and vehicle of the former; the man who participates in the 
unction of the holy symbol gets grace thereby. ‘This was a fact 
with which people were familiar from innumerable mysteries ; 
in and with the corporeal application of the symbol, unction or 
grace was poured into the soul. The connection seemed like a 
predestined harmony, and in fact the union was still more 
inward. The sentence of the later schoolmen, “ Sacramenta 
continent gratiam,” is as old as the Gentile church, and even 
older, for it was in existence long before the latter sprang into 

The Christian religion was intelligible and impressive, owing 
to the fact that it offered men sacraments.! Without its 

1 Many, of course, took umbrage at the Lord’s supper as the eating and drinking 
of flesh and blood, The criticism of the pagan (Porphyry) in Mac. Magnes, III. 
xv., is remarkable. He does not attack the mystery of the supper in the Synoptic 
tradition, but on John vi. 53 (‘‘ Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye 
have no life in yourselves”’) he observes: ‘‘Is it not, then, bestial and absurd, 
surpassing all absurdity and bestial coarseness, for a man to eat human flesh and 
drink the blood of his fellow tribesman or relative, and thereby win life eternal ? 
[Porphyry, remember, was opposed to the eating of flesh and the tasting of blood 
in general.] Why, tell me what greater coarseness could you introduce into life, 
if you practise that habit? What further crime will you start, more accursed than 
this loathsome profligacy? The ear cannot bear to hear it mentioned—and by 
‘it,’ 1 am far from meaning the action itself, I mean the very name of this strange, 
utterly unheard of offence. Never, even in extraordinary emergencies, was any- 
thing like this offence enacted before mankind in the most fantastic presentations 
of the Erinyes, Not even would the Potidzeans have admitted anything like this, 
although they had been debilitated by inhuman hunger. Of course we know 
about Thyestes and his meals, etc. [then follow similar cases from antiquity]. 
All these persons unintentionally committed this offence. But no civilized person 
ever served up such food, none ever got such gruesome instructions from any 
teacher. And if thou wert to pursue thine inquiries as far as Scythia or the 

_ Macrobii of Ethiopia, or to travel right round the margin of the sea itself, thou 

wouldst find people who eat lice and roots, or live on serpents, and make mice 
their food, but all refrain from human flesh. What, then, does this saying mean? 
For even although tt was meant to be taken in a more mystical or allegorical (and 
therefore profitable) sense, still the mere sound of the words upon the ear grates 
inevitably on the soul, and makes it rebel against the loathsomeness of the saying. 

. . - Many teachers, no doubt, attempt to introduce new and strange ideas. 
But none has ever devised a precept so strange and horrible as this, neither 


mysteries, people would have found it hard to appreciate the 
new religion. But who can tell how these mysteries arose? No 
one was to blame, no one was responsible. Had not baptism 
chanced to have been instituted, had not the observance of the 
holy supper been enjoined (and can any one maintain that these 
flowed inevitably from the essence of the gospel ?), then some 
sacrament would have been created out of a parable of Jesus, out 
οἵ ἃ word or act of some kind or another. The age for material 
and certainly for bloody sacrifices was now past and gone; these 
were no longer the alloy of any religion. But the age of sacra- 
ments was very far from being over; it was in full vigour and 
prime. Every hand that was stretched out for religion, tried 
to grasp it in sacramental form; the eye saw sacraments where 
sacraments there were none, and the senses gave them body.1 
Water and blood, bread and wine—though the apostle Paul 
was far from being a sacramental theologian, yet even he 
could not wholly avoid these mysteries, as is plain if one will 
but read the tenth chapter of First Corinthians, and note his 
speculations upon baptismal immersion. But Paul was the 
first and almost? the last theologian of the early church with 
whom sacramental theology was really held in check by clear 
ideas and strictly spiritual considerations. After him all the 
flood-gates were opened, and in poured the mysteries with their 
lore. In Ignatius, who is only sixty years later than Paul, they 
had already dragged down and engulfed the whole of intelligent 
theology. A man like the author of Barnabas believes he has 
fathomed the depths of truth when he connects his ideas with 
the water, the blood, and the cross. And the man who wrote 

historian nor philosopher, neither barbarian nor primitive Greek. See here, 
what has come over you that you foolishly exhort credulous people to follow such 
a faith? Look at all the mischief that is set thus afoot to storm the cities as well 
as the villages! Hence it was, I do believe, that neither Mark nor Luke nor 
Matthew mentioned this saying, just because they were of opinion that it was 
unworthy of civilized people, utterly strange and unsuitable and quite alien to the 
habits of honourable life.” 

' By the end of the second century, at the very latest, the déscéplina arcané 
embraced the sacraments, partly owing to educational reasons, partly to the 
example of pagan models. It rendered them still more weighty and impressive. 

2 Not quite the last, for Marcion and his disciples do not seem to have been 
sacramental theologians at all. 




με ὸῸ “Ὡρῶν 


these words—“'There are three that bear witness, the Spirit 
and the water and the blood, and these three agree in one” 
(1 John ν. 8)—had a mind which lived in symbols and in 
mysteries. In the book of Revelation the symbols generally 
are not what we call “symbols” but semi-real things—e.g., the 
Lamb, the blood, the washing and the sprinkling, the seal and 
the sealing. Much of this still remains obscure to us. What 
is the meaning, for example, of the words (1 John ii. 27) about 
the “unction,” an unction conveying knowledge which is so 
complete that it renders any further teaching quite unnecessary ? 

But how is this, it may be asked? Is not John a thorough 
“spiritualist”? And are not Origen, Valentinus, and Basilides 
also “spiritualists”? How, then, can we assert that their 
realistic expressions meant something else to them than mere 
symbols? In the case of John this argument can be defended 
with a certain amount of plausibility, since we do not know his 
entire personality. All we know is John the author. And even 
as an author he is known to us merely on one side of his nature, 
for he cannot have always spoken and written as he does in his 
extant writings. But in regard to the rest, so far as they are 
known to us on several sides of their characters, the plea is 
untenable. This is plain from a study of Clement and Origen, 
both of whom are amply accessible to us. In their case the 
combination of the mysterious realistic element with the spiritual 
is rendered feasible by the fact that they have simply no 
philosophy of religion at all which is capable of being erected 
upon one level, but merely one which consists of different stories 
built one upon the other. In the highest of these stories, realism 
of every kind certainly vanishes; in fact, even the very system 
of intermediate agencies and forces, including the Logos itself, 
vanishes entirely, leaving nothing but God and the souls that 
are akin to him. These have a reciprocal knowledge of each 
other’s essence, they love each other, and thus are absorbed in 
one another. But ere this consummation is reached, a ladder 
must be climbed. And every stage or rung has special forces 
which correspond to it, implying a theology, a metaphysic, and 

1 This construction is common to them and to the idealist philosophers of 
their age. 


an ethic of its own. On the lowest rung of the ascent, religion 
stands in mythological guise accompanied by sacraments whose 
inward value is as yet entirely unknown. Even so, this is not 
falsehood but truth. It answers to a definite state of the soul, 
and it satisfies this by filling it with bliss. Even on this level 
the Christian religion is therefore true. Later on, this entirely 
ceases, and yet it does not cease. It ceases, because it is tran- 
scended ; it does not cease, because the brethren still require 
this sort of thing, and because the foot of the ladder’ simply 
cannot be pulled away without endangering its upper structure. 

After this brief sketch we must now try to/see the significance 
of the realistic sacramental theology for these spiritualists. 
Men like Origen are indeed from our standpoint the most 
obnoxious of the theologians who occupied themselves with the 
sacraments, the blood, and the atonement. In and with these 
theories they brought back a large amount of polytheism into 
Christianity by means of a back-door, since the lower and 
middle stories of their theological edifice required! to be 
furnished with angels and archangels, sons, semi-gods, and 
deliverers of every sort. This was due both to cosmological 
and to soteriological reasons, for the two correspond like the 
lines AB and BA.’ But, above all, theology was enabled by 
this means to respond to the very slightest pressure of popular 
religion, and it is here, of course, that we discover the final clue 
to the singular enigma now before us. This theology of the 
mysteries and of these varied layers and stages afforded the best 
means of conserving the spiritual character of the Christian 

* For a considerable length of time one of the charges brought by Christians 
against the Jews was that of angel-worship (Preaching of Peter, in Clem. Alex., 
Strom., vi. §; Arist., Apol., xiv. Celsus also is acquainted with this charge, and 
angel-worship is, of course, a note of the errorists combated in Colossians). Sub- 
sequently the charge came to be levelled against the Christians themselves, and 
Justin had already written rather incautiously (Afo/., I. vi.): [τὸν θεὸν] καὶ τὸν 
map’ αὐτοῦ υἱὸν ἐλθόντα καὶ διδάξαντα ἡμᾶς ταῦτα καὶ τὸν τῶν ἄλλων ἑπομένων καὶ 
ἐξομοιουμένων ἀγαθῶν ἀγγέλων στρατόν, πνεῦμά τε τὸ προφητικὸν σεβόμεθα καὶ 

προσκυνοῦμεν (“‘ Both God and the Son who came from him and taught us these 
things, also the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to him, 

and also the prophetic Spirit—these we worship and adore”), The four words — 

πνεῦμα Te τὸ προφητικὸν are Supposed by some to be an interpolation. 
* As to the “descent ” and “‘ ascent ” of the soul, cp. Anz., ‘‘ Zur Frage nach dem 
Ursprung des Gnosticismus ” (Zexte τε, Unters., xv. 4, 1897). 



religion upon the upper level, and at the same time of arranging 

_ any compromise that might be desirable upon the lower. ‘This 

was hardly the result of any conscious process. It came about 
quite naturally, for everything was already present in germ at 
the very first when sacraments were admitted into the religion.’ 
So much for the lofty theologians. With the inferior men 
the various stages dropped away and the sacramental factors 
were simply inserted in the religion in an awkward and un- 
wieldy fashion. Read over the remarks made even in that age 
by Justin the oo upon the “cross,” in the fifty-fifth 
chapter of his Apology. A more sturdy superstition can hardly 
be imagined. Notice how Tertullian (de Bapt., i.) speaks of 
“water” and its affinity with the holy Spirit! One is 
persuaded, too, that all Christians with one consent attributed 
a magical force, exercised especially over demons, to the mere 
utterance of the name of Jesus and to the sign of the cross. 
One can also read the stories of the Lord’s supper told by 
Dionysius of Alexandria, a pupil of Origen, and all that Cyprian 
is able to narrate as to the miracle of the host. Putting these 
and many similar traits together, one feels driven to conclude 
that Christianity has become a religion of magic, with its centre 
of gravity in the sacramental mysteries. ‘ Ab initio sic non 
erat” is the protest that will be entered. “ From the beginning 
it was not so.” Perhaps. But one must go far back to find 
that initial stage—so far back that its very brief duration now 
eludes our search. 3 
Originally the water, the bread and wine (the body and the 
blood), the name of Jesus, and the cross were the sole sacra- 
ments of the church, whilst baptism and the Lord’s supper were 

iF the sole mysteries. But this state of matters could not continue. 

For different reasons, including reasons of philosophy, the scope 

_ of all sacraments tended to be enlarged, and so our period wit- 


nesses the further rise of sacramental details—anointing, the 
laying on of hands, sacred oil and salt, etc. But the most 

1 The necessity of priests and sacrifices was an idea present from the first in 
Gentile Christianity—even at the time when Christians sought with Paul to know 
of spiritual sacrifices alone and of the general priesthood of believers. Cp. Justin’s 
Dial, cxvi: οὐ δέχεται παρ᾽ οὐδενὸς θυσίας ὃ θεός, εἰ μὴ διὰ τῶν ἱερέων αὐτοῦ 
(‘‘ God receives sacrifices from no one, save through his priests”). 


momentous result was the gradual assimilation of the entire 
Christian worship to the ancient mysteries. By the third cen- 
tury it could already rival the most imposing cultus in all 
paganism, with its solemn and precise ritual, its priests, its 
sacrifices, and its holy ceremonies. 

These developments, however, are by no means to be judged 
from the standpoint of Puritanism. Every age has to conceive 
and assimilate religion as it alone can; it must understand 
religion for itself, and make it a living thing for its own 
purposes. If the traits of Christianity which have been de- 
scribed in the preceding chapters have been correctly stated, 
if Christianity remained the religion of God the Father, of the 
Saviour and of salvation, of love and charitable enterprise, then 
it was perhaps a misfortune that the forms of contemporary 
religion were assumed. But the misfortune was by no means 
irreparable. Like every living plant, religion only grows inside 
a bark. Distilled religion is not religion at all. 

Something further, however, still remains to be considered. 
' We have already seen how certain influential teachers— 
teachers, in fact, who founded the whole theology of the 
᾿ Christian Church—felt a strong impulse, and made it their 
definite aim, to get some rational conception of the Christian 

religion and to present it as the reasonable religion of mankind. 

This feature proved of great importance to the mission and ex- 

tension of Christianity. Such teachers at once joined issue with 

contemporary philosophers, and, as the example of Justin proves, 
they did not eschew even controversy with these opponents. 

They retained all that they had in common with Socrates, 

Plato, and the Stoics; they showed how far people could go with 

them on the road; they attempted to give an historical explana- 

tion’ of the points in common between themselves and pagan- 


1 The Jewish Alexandrian philosophers had been the pioneers in this direction, 
and all that was really needed was to copy them. But they had employed a 
variety of methods in their attempt, amongst which a choice had to be made, All 
these attempts save one were childish. One was quite appropriate, viz., that 
which explained the points of agreement by the sway of the same Logos which 
worked in the Jewish prophets and in the pagan philosophers and poets. One 
attempt, again, was naive, viz., that which sought to expose the Greek philo- 
sophers and poets as plagiarists—though Celsus tried to do the same thing with 


_ ism; and in this way they inaugurated the great adjustment of 
terms which was inevitable, unless Christians chose to remain 
a tiny sect of people who refused to concern themselves with 
culture and scientific learning. Still, as these discussions were 
carried on in a purely rational spirit, and as there was a frankly 
avowed partiality for the idea that Christianity was a trans- 
_ parently rational system, vital Christian truths were either 
abandoned or at any rate neglected. This meant a certain im- 
poverishment, and a serious dilution, of the Christian faith. 
_ Such a type of knowledge was certainly different from Paul’s 
idea of knowledge, nor did it answer to the depths of the 
Christian religion. In one passage, perhaps, the apostle himself 
employs rational considerations of a Stoic character, when those 
were available for the purposes of his apologetic (cp. the open- 
_ ing sections of Romans), but he was hardly thinking about 
such ideas when he dwelt upon the Christian σοφία, σύνεσις, 
ἐπιστήμης and γνῶσις (“ wisdom,” “ intelligence,” “ understand- 
ing,” and “ knowledge”). Something very different was present 
to his mind at such moments. He was thinking of absorption 
in the being of God as revealed in Christ, of progress in the 
knowledge of his saving purpose, manifested in revelation and 
in history, of insight into the nature of sin or the power of 
demons (those “spirits of the air”) or the dominion of death, 
of the boundless knowledge of God’s grace, and of the clear 
anticipation of life eternal. In a word, he had in view a know- 
ledge that soared up to God himself above all thrones, dominions, 
and principalities, and that also penetrated the depths from 
which we are delivered—a knowledge that traced human history 
from Adam to Christ, and that could, at the same time, define 
both faith and love, both sin and grace. 

Paradoxical as it may appear, these phases of knowledge were 
actually fertilized and fed by the mysteries. From an early period 
they attached themselves to the mysteries. It wasin the train of 
the mysteries that they crossed from the soil of heathenism, and 
it was by dint of the mysteries that they grew and developed 

Pat * wy 

ha a 


_ reference to Christ. Finally, it was both naive and fanatical to undertake to 
prove that all agreements of the philosophers with Christian doctrine were but a 
delusion and the work of the devil. 

Eee ‘te 


upon the soil of Christianity. The case of the mysteries was at — 
that time exactly what it was afterwards in the sixteenth and 
the seventeenth centuries. Despite all their acuteness, it was — 
» not the rationalists among the schoolmen who furthered learn- 
ing and promoted its revival—it was the cabbalists, the natural 
» philosophers, the alchemists, and the astrologers. What was 
the reason of this, it may be asked? How can learning develop 
itself by aid of the mysteries? The reply is very simple. Such 
development is possible, because learning or knowledge is at- 
tained by aid of the emotions and the imagination. Both are 
therefore able to arouse and to revive it. The great speculative 
efforts of the syncretistic philosophy of religion, whose principles 
have been already outlined (cp. pp. 30 f.), were based upon the 
mysteries (¢.e., upon the feelings and fancies, whose products were 
hrown into shape by the aid of speculation). The gnostics, who 
to a man were in no sense rationalists, attempted to transplant 
these living and glowing speculations to the soil of Christianity, 
and withal to preserve intact the supremacy of the gospel. ‘The 
attempt was doomed to fail. Speculations of this kind contained 
too many elements alien to the spirit of Christianity which could 
not be relinquished.!_ But as separate fragments, broken up as it 
were into their constituent elements, they were able to render, 
and they did render, very signal services to a fruitful Christian 
philosophy of religion—these separate elements being originally — 
prior perhaps to the combinations of later ages. All the more 
profound conceptions generated within Christianity subsequently 
to the close of the first century, all the transcendental know- 
ledge, all those tentative ideas, which nevertheless were of more 
value than mere logical deductions—all this sprang in large 
measure from the contact of Christianity with the ancient lore 


1 These included the distinction between the god of creation (the demiurgus) 
and the god of redemption (redemption corresponding to emanation, not to 
creation), the abandonment of the Old Testament god, the dualistic opposition of 
soul and body, the disintegration of the redemptive personality, etc. Above all, 
redemption to the syncretist and the gnostic meant the separation of what had 
been unnaturally conjoined, while to the Christian it meant the union of what had 
been unnaturally divided. Christianity could not give up the latter conception οὐ 
redemption, unless she was willing to overturn everything. Besides, this concep- 
tion alone was adequate to the monarchical position of God. 



of the mysteries. It disengaged profound conceptions and 
rendered them articulate. ‘This is unmistakable in the case of 
John or of Ignatius or of Irenzeus, but the clearest case is that 
of the great Alexandrian school. Materials valuable and useless 
alike, sheer fantasy and permanent truth which could no longer 
be neglected, all were mixed up in a promiscuous confusion— 
although this applies least of all to John, who, more than any- 
one, managed to impress a lofty unity even upon the form and 
expression of his thoughts. Such ideas will, of course, be little 
to the taste of anyone who holds that empiricism or rationalism 
confines knowledge within limits which one must not so much 
as try to overleap; but anyone who assigns greater value to 
tentative ideas than to a deliberate absence of all ideas whatso- 
ever, will not be disposed to underestimate the labour expended 
by the thinkers of antiquity in connection with the mysteries. 
At any rate, it is beyond question that this phase of Christianity, 
which went on developing almost from the very hour of its 
birth, proved of supreme importance to the propaganda of the 
religion. Christianity gained special weight from the fact that 
in the first place it had mysterious secrets of its own, which it 
sought to fathom only to adore them once again in silence, and 
secondly, that it preached to the perfect in another and a deeper 
sense than it did to simple folk. ‘These mysterious secrets may 
have had, as it is plain that they did have, a deadening effect 

on thousands of people by throwing obstacles in the way of 

their access to a rational religion; but on other people they 
had a stimulating effect, lending them wings to soar up into a 
supra-sensible world.? 

' With this comparative appreciation of speculation in early Christianity, we 
concede the utmost that can be conceded in this connection. It is a time-honoured 
view that the richest fruit of Christianity, and in fact its very essence, lies in that 
** Christian ” metaphysic which was the gradual product of innumerable alien ideas 
dragged into contact with the gospel. But this assertion deserves respect simply 
on the score of its venerable age. If it were true, then Jesus Christ would not be 
the founder of his religion, and indeed he would not even be its forerunner, since 
he neither revealed any philosophy of religion nor did he lay stress on anything 
which from such a standpoint is counted as cardinal. The Greeks certainly forgot 
before very long the Pauline saying ἐκ μέρους γινώσκομεν. . . . βλέπομεν γὰρ 
ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι (‘‘ We know in part... . for now wesee ina 
mirror, darkly”), and they also forgot that as knowledge (yv@o1s) and wisdom 
(σοφία) are charismatic gifts, the product of these gifts affords no definition of what 



This ascent into the supra-sensible world (θεοποίησις, apothe- 
osis) was the last and the highest word of all. The supreme 
Se | message of Christianity was its promise of this divine state to 
every believer. We know how, in that age of the twilight of 
he gods, all human hopes concentrated upon this aim, and con- 
sequently a religion which not only taught but realized this 
apotheosis of human nature (especially in a form so complete 
that it did not exclude even the flesh) was bound to have an 
enormous success. Recent investigations into the history of 
dogma have shown that the development of Christian doctrine 
down to Irenzus must be treated in this light, viz., with the 
aim of proving how the idea of apotheosis—that supreme desire 
and dream of the ancient world, whose inability to realize it 
cast a deep shadow over its inner life—passed into Christianity, 
altered the original lines of that religion, and eventually 
dominated its entire contents.!. The presupposition for it in 
primitive Christianity was the promise of a share in the future 
kingdom of God. As yet no one could foresee what was to fuse 
itself with this promise and transform it. But Paul co-ordinated 
with it the promise of life eternal in a twofold way: as given to 
man in justification (.6.. in the Spirit, as an indissoluble inner 
union with the love of God), and as infused into man through 
holy media in the shape of a new nature. The fourth evangelist 
has grasped this double idea still more vividly, and given it 
sharper outline. His message is the spiritual and physical 
immanence of life eternal for believers. Still, the idea of love 
outweighs that of a natural transformation in his conception of 
the unity of believers with the Father and the Son, so that he 
- only approaches the verge of the conception, “ We have become 
gods.” He still seems to prefer the expression “ children of God.” 
The apologists also keep the idea of apotheosis secondary to 
that of a full knowledge of God,” but even after the great epoch 
when “ gnosticism ” was opposed and assimilated, the church went 
Christianity really is. Of the prominent teachers, Marcion, Apelles, and to some 

extent Irenzeus, were the only ones who remained conscious of the limitations of 

1 Cp. my Dogmengeschichte (third ed.), i., especially pp. 516 f. [Eng. trans., iii. 

275 f.]. 
2 Yet cp. Justin., Dza/. cxxiv., a parallel to the great section in John. x. 33 f. 


forward in the full assurance that she understood and preached 
apotheosis as the distinctive product of the Christian religion. 
_ When she spoke of “ adoptio” by God, or of “ participatio dei,” 
_ for example, although a spiritual relationship continued to be 
understood, yet its basis and reality lay in a sacramental 
renewal of the physical nature: “ Non ab initio dii facti sumus ; 
sed primo quidem homines, tunc demum dii” (We were not made 
_ gods at first; at first we were men, thereafter we became gods 
᾿ at length). These are the words of Ireneus (cp. IV. xxxviii. 4, 
_ and often elsewhere), and this was the doctrine of Christian 
_ teachers after him. ‘Thou shalt avoid hell when thou hast 
_ gained the knowledge of the true God. Thou shalt have an 
immortal and incorruptible body as well as a soul, and shalt 
_ obtain the kingdom of heaven. 'Thou who hast lived on earth 
and known the heavenly King, shalt be a friend of God and a 
_ joint-heir with Christ, no longer held by lusts, or sufferings, or 
sicknesses. Mor thou hast become divine, and all that pertains 
to the God-life hath God promised to bestow on thee, seeing 
that thou, now become immortal, art deified.”! This was the 
sort of preaching which anyone could understand, and which 

could not be surpassed. 
Christianity, then, is a revelation which has to be believed, w || 

authority which has to be obeyed, the rational religion which may | 
be understood and proved, the religion of the mysteries or the 
sacraments, the religion of transcendental knowledge. So it 
was preached. It was not that every missionary expressed but 
one aspect of the religion. ‘The various presentations of it were 
all mixed up together, although every now and then one of them 
would acquire special prominence. It is with amazement that 
__ we fathom the depths of this missionary preaching; yet those 
__ who engaged in it were prepared at any moment to put every- 
_ thing else aside and rest their whole faith on the confession that 
*“'lhere is one God of heaven and earth, and Jesus is the Lord.” 

1 Hippol., Phzvos., x. 34. Cp. pseudo-Hippolytus, 7heoph., viii: εἰ ἀθάνατος 
γέγονεν ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ἔσται καὶ θεός (‘* If man become immortal, he shall also be 




THE gospel was preached simultaneously as the consummation 
of Judaism, as a new religion, and as the re-statement and final 
expression of man’s original religion. Nor was this triple aspect 
preached merely by some individual missionary of dialectic gifts ; 
it was a conception which emerged more or less distinctly in all 
missionary preaching of any scope. Convinced that Jesus, the 
teacher and the prophet, was also the Messiah who was to return 
ere long to finish off his work, people passed from the conscious- 
ness of being his disciples into that of being his people, the 
people of God: ὑμεῖς γένος ἐκλεκτόν, βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα, ἔθνος 
ἅγιον, λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν (1 Pet. ii. 9: “ Ye are a chosen race, 
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession ”) ; 
and in so far as they felt themselves to be a people, Christians 
knew they were the true Israel, at once the new people and 
the old. 

This conviction that they were a people—i.e., the transference 
of all the prerogatives and claims of the Jewish people to the 
new community as a new creation which exhibited and realized 
whatever was old and original in religion—this at once furnished 
adherents of the new faith with a political and historical self- 
consciousness. Nothing more comprehensive or complete or 

impressive than this consciousness can be conceived. Could — 

there be any higher or more comprehensive conception than 

that of the complex of momenta afforded by the Christians’ 



estimate of themselves as “the true Israel,” “the new people,” 

_“the original people,” and “the people of the future,” 1.6.. of 

eternity? This estimate of themselves rendered Christians 

impregnable against all attacks and movements of polemical [! 

criticism, while it further enabled them to advance in every 

κόρα δὲ SIG, aime, 


direction for a war of conquest. Was the cry raised, “‘ You are 
renegade Jews ”—the answer came, “ We are the community of 
the Messiah, and therefore the true Israelites.” If people said, 
*“ You are simply J ews,” the reply was, “ We are a new creation 

and a new people.” If, again, they were taxed with their 

recent origin and told that they were but of yesterday, they 

_ retorted, “‘ We only seem to be the younger People; from the 

beginning we have been latent; we have always existed, previous 

_ to any other people; we are the original people of God.” If 

they were told, “ You do not deserve to live,” the answer ran, 
“ We would die to live, for we are citizens of the world to come, 
and sure that we shall rise again.” 

There were one or two other quite definite convictions of a 
general nature specially taken over by the early Christians at 
the very outset from the stores accumulated by a survey of 
history made from the Jewish standpoint. Applied to their 
own purposes, these were as follows :—(1) Our people is older 
than the world; (2) the world was created for our sakes ;! (3) 
the world is carried on for our sakes; we retard the judgment 
of the world; (4) everything in the world is subject to us and 
must serve us; (5) everything in the world, the beginning and 
course and end of all history, is revealed to us and lies trans- 
parent to our eyes; (6) we shall take part in the judgment of 

__ the world and ourselves enjoy eternal bliss. In various early 
_ Christian documents, dating from before the middle of the 

second century, these convictions find expression, in homilies, 

-apocalypses, epistles, and apologies, and nowhere else did 

1 By means of these two convictions, Christians made out their case for a 
position superior to the world, and established a connection between creation and 
history. Se πον > 

2 Cp. the‘epistles of the apocalypse of John, the ‘‘ Shepherd” of Hermas, - τ : : 

(Vis., ii. 4. 1), the second epistle of Clement (xiv.), and the Apologies of 
Aristides and Justin (II. vii.), Similar statements occur earlier in the Jewish 

VOL. I. 7 16 


Celsus vent his fierce disdain of Christians and their shameless, 
absurd pretensions with such keenness as at this point.’ 

But for Christians who knew they were the old and the new 
People, it was not enough to set this self-consciousness over 
against the Jews alone, or to contend with them for the 
possession of the promises and of the sacred book ;? settled on 
the soil of the Greek and Roman empires, they had to define 

1 He is quite aware that these pretensions are common to Jews and Christians, 
that the latter took them over from the former, and that both parties contended 
for the right to their possession. Μετὰ ταῦτα, observes Origen (c. Ce/s., IV. xxiii.), 
συνήθως ἑαυτῷ γελῶν τὸ Ἰουδαίων καὶ Χριστιανῶν γένος πάντας παραβέβληκε 
νυκτερίδων Spuad@ 2) μύρμηξιν ἐκ καλιᾶς προελθοῦσιν ἢ βατράχοις περὶ τέλμα 
συνεδρεύουσιν ἢ σκώληξιν ἐν βορβόρον γωνίᾳ ἐκκλησιάζουσι καὶ πρὸς ἀλλήλους 
διαφερομένοις, τίνες αὐτῶν εἶεν ἁμαρτωλότεροι, καὶ φάσκουσιν ὅτι πάντα ἡμῖν ὁ 
θεὸς προδηλοῖ καὶ προκαταγγέλλει, καὶ τὸν πάντα κόσμον καὶ τὴν οὐράνιον φορὰν 
ἀπολιπὼν καὶ τὴν τοσαύτην γῆν παριδὼν ἡμῖν μόνοις πολιτεύεται καὶ πρὸς ἡμᾶς 
μόνους ἐπικηρυκεύεται καὶ πέμπων οὐ διαλείπει καὶ ζητῶν, ὅπως ἀεὶ συνῶμεν αὐτῷ, 
καὶ ἐν τῷ ἀναπλάσματί γε ἑαυτοῦ παραπλησίους ἡμᾶς ποιεῖ σκώληξι, φάσκουσιν ὅτι 
ὃ θεός ἐστιν, εἶτα μετ᾽ ἐκεῖνον ἡμεῖς ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ γεγονότες πάντῇ ὅμοιοι τῷ θεῷ, καὶ 
ἡμῖν πάντα ὑποβέβληται, γῆ καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ ἀὴρ καὶ ἄστρα, καὶ ἡμῶν ἕνεκα πάντα, καὶ 
ἡμῖν δουλεύειν τέτακται. λέγουσι δέ τι παρ᾽ αὐτῷ οἱ σκώληκες, ἡμεῖς δηλαδή, ὅτι 
νῦν, ἐπειδή τινες [ἐν] ἡμῖν πλημμελοῦσιν, ἀφίξεται θεὸς ἢ πέμψει τὸν υἱόν, ἵνα κατα- 
φλέξῃ τοὺς ἀδίκους καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ σὺν αὐτῷ ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἔχωμεν. καὶ ἐπιφέρει γε 
πᾶσιν ὅτι ταῦτα [μᾶλλον] ἀνεκτὰ σκωλήκων καὶ βατράχων ἢ ᾿Ιουδαίων καὶ Χρισ- 
τιανῶν πρὸς ἀλλήλους διαφερομένων (‘‘ In the next place, laughing as usual at the 
race of Jews and Christians, he likens them all to a flight of bats, or a swarm of 
ants crawling out of their nest, or frogs in council on a marsh, or worms in synod 
on the corner of a dunghill, quarrelling as to which of them is the greater sinner, 
and declaring that ‘God discloses and announces all things to us beforehand ; 
God deserts the whole world and the heavenly region and disregards this great 
earth in order to domicile himself among us alone; to us alone he makes his 
proclamations, ceasing not to send and seek that we may company with him for 
ever.’ And in his representation of us, he likens us to worms that declare ‘ there 
is a God, and next to him are we whom he has made in all points like unto 
himself, and to whom all things are subject—land and water, air and stars ; all things 
are for our sakes, and are appointed to serve us.’ As he puts it, the worms, Ζ.6., 
we Christians, declare also that ‘since certain of our number commit sin, God will 
come or send his son to burn up the wicked and to let the rest of us have life 
eternal with himself.’ To all of which he subjoins the remark that such dis- 
cussions would be more tolerable among worms and frogs than among Jews and 
Christians ’’), 

2 This controversy occupies the history of the first generation, and stretches even 
further down, Although the broad lines of the position taken up by Christians 
on this field were clearly marked out, this did not exclude the possibility of various 
attitudes being assumed, as may be seen from my study in the third section of the 
first volume of the Zexte τ. Untersuchungen (1883), upon ‘the anti-Jewish 
polemic of the early church.” 

\ ἢ 




- ὦ se οὐδ» πὶ 
ἰῷ She 



their position with regard to this realm and its “people.” The 
apostle Paul had already done so, and in this he was followed 

by others. 
In classifying mankind Paul does speak in one passage of 
“Greeks and barbarians” alongside of Jews (Rom. i. 14), and in 

another of “barbarians and Scythians” alongside of Greeks 

(Col. iii. 11); but, like a born Jew and a Pharisee, he usually 

_ bisects humanity into circumcised and uncircumcised—the latter 

being described, for the sake of brevity, as “ Greeks.”' Beside 

or over against these two “peoples” he places the church of | 
God as a new creation (ep., ¢.g., 1 Cor. x. 32, “ Give no occasion | 
of stumbling to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God”). 

Nor does this mere juxtaposition satisfy him. He goes on to 
the conception of this new creation as that which is to embrace 

both Jews and Greeks, rising above the differences of both | 

_ peoples into a higher unity. The people of Christ are not a 

third people to him beside their neighbours. ‘They represent — 

the new grade on which human history reaches its consum- | 

mation, a grade which is to supersede the previous grade of 
bisection, cancelling or annulling not only national but also 

social and even sexual distinctions. Compare, ¢.g., Gal. iii. 28: | 

9 ᾽ a \@ te . 
οὐκ ἕνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ “EXAny, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ" πάντες 
~,! a il “ A “΄- 
γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, or Gal. v. 6: ἐν Χριστῳ 
*T ia + , 9 , + ° , 9 Ν , 
ἡσοῦ οὔτε περιτομή τι ἰσχύει οὔτε ἀκροβυστία, ἀλλὰ πίστις 
3 , . A 
δι᾽ ἀγάπης ἐνεργουμένη (cp. vi. 15, οὔτε yap περιτομή τι 
ἐστιν οὔτε ἀκροβυστία, ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις, and 2 Cor. ν. 17). 
se a e ~ , 
1 Cor. xii. 13: ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι ἡμεῖς πάντες εἰς Ev σῶμα ἐβαπτίσοσ- 

 Onuev, εἴτε ᾿Ἰουδαῖοι εἴτε “Ἑλληνες, εἴτε δοῦλοι εἴτε ἐλεύθεροι. 



1 Even in the passage from Colossians the common expression ‘‘ Greek and 
Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision” (Ἕλλην καὶ ᾿Ιουδαῖος, περιτομὴ καὶ axpo- 
βυστία) is put first ; ‘‘ barbarian, Scythian, bond and free” (βάρβαρος, Σκύθης, 
δοῦλος, ἐλεύθερος) follows as a rhetorical amplification. 

2 It was in the conception of Christ as the second Adam that the conception of 
the new humanity as opposed to the old, a conception which implies a dual 
division, was most deeply rooted. The former idea obviously played a leading 
part in the world of Pauline thought, but it was not introduced for the first time 
by him ; in the Messianic system of the Jews_this idea_already held_a_place of its 
own. In Paul and in other Christian thinkers the idea of a dual classification of 
mankind intersects that of a triple classification, but both ideas are at one in this, 
that the new humanity cancels the old. 



Coloss. iii. 11: ὅπου οὐκ ἔνι Ελλην καὶ ᾿Ιουδαῖος, περιτομὴ καὶ 
ἀκροβυστία, βάρβαρος, Σκύθης, δοῦλος, ἐλεύθερος. Most im- 
pressive of all is Ephes. ii. 11 f.: μνημονεύετε ὅτι ποτὲ ὑμεῖς 
τὰ ἔθνη... .. ire ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι τῆς πολιτείας τοῦ Ἰσραήλ 
.. ++ (ὁ Χριστός) ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν, ὁ ποιήσας τὰ ἀμφότερα 
ἕν Kal τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ λύσας .. .. ἵνα τοὺς δύο 
κτίσῃ ἐν αὐτῷ εἰς ἕνα καινὸν ἄνθρωπον ποιῶν εἰρήνην, καὶ 
ἀποκαταλλαξῃτοὺς ἀμφοτέρους ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι. Finally, ἴῃ Rom. — 
ix.-xi. Paul promulgates a philosophy of history, according to — 
which the new People, whose previous history fell within the — 
limits of Israel, includes the Gentile world, now that Israel has — 
been rejected, but will embrace in the end not merely “the 
fulness of the Gentiles” (πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν) but also “all 
Israel” (πᾶς Ἰσραήλ). 
Greeks (Gentiles), Jews, and the Christians as the new People 
(destined to embrace the two first)—this triple division now 
_ becomes frequent in early Christian literature, as one or two 
examples will show.1 

1 For Christians as the new People, see the ‘‘ Shepherd ” of Hermas, and Barn, 
Vv. 7 (Χριστὸς) ἑαυτῷ τὸν λαὸν τὸν καινὸν ἑτοιμάζων (Christ preparing himself the 
new people); vii. 5, ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν μέλλων τοῦ λαοῦ τοῦ καινοῦ προσφέρειν τὴν 
σάρκα (Christ about to offer his flesh for the sins of the new people); xiii. 6, 
βλέπετε... .. τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον [new and evidently young] εἶναι τρῶτον (ye see 
that this people is the first); 2 Clem. ad Cor. ii. 3, ἔρημος ἐδόκει εἶναι ἀπὸ τοῦ 
θεοῦ ὃ λαὸς ἡμῶν, νυνὶ δὲ πιστεύσαντες πλείονες ἐγενόμεθα τῶν δοκούντων ἔχειν 
θέον (‘* Our people seemed to be forsaken of God, but now we have become more 
numerous by our faith than those who seemed to possess God”); Ignat., ad 
Ephes., xix.-xx. ; Aristides, AZo/., xvi. (*‘ truly this people is new, and a divine 
admixture is in them”); Ovac. Szbyll., i. 383 f., βλαστὸς νεός ἀνθησείεν ἐξ ἐθνῶν 
(“‘a fresh growth shall blossom out of the Gentiles”). Bardesanes also calls the - 
Christians a new race, Clement (Paed., I. v. 15, on Zech. ix. 9) remarks : οὐκ 
ἤρκει τὸ πῶλον εἰρηκέναι μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ νέον προσέθηκεν αὐτῷ, τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ 
νεολαίαν τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος. . . . ἐμφαίνων (“Τὸ say ‘colt’ was not enough; _ 
“young ’ had to be added, in order to bring out the youth of humanity”); and in — 
I, v. 20 he observes, νέοι 6 λαὸς 6 καινὸς πρὸς ἀντιδιαστολὴν τοῦ πρεσβυτέρου 
λαοῦ τὰ νέα μαθόντες ἀγαθά (‘In contradistinction to the older people, the new | 
people are young because they have learned the new blessings”). See also 
I. vii. 58, καὶ yap ἦν ὡς ἀληθῶς διὰ μὲν Μωυσέως παιδαγωγὸς ὃ κύριος τοῦ λαοῦ ; 
τοῦ παλαιοῦ, δι᾽ αὐτοῦ δὲ τοῦ νέου καθηγεμὼν λαοῦ, πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον (*' For — 
it was really the Lord who instructed the ancient people by Moses ; but the new j 
people he directs himself, face to face”), The expression ‘‘new people” was 
retained for a long while in those early days ; cp., ¢.g., Constant., ad s. Coe?. xix., 
κατὰ χρόνον Tod Τιβερίον Tod σωτῆρος ἐξέλαμψε παρουσία. . . . ἣ τε νέα τοῦ 
δήμου διαδοχὴ συνέστη, κ.τ.λ. (‘* About the time of Tiberius the advent of the 

eo eT 



The fourth evangelist makes Christ say (x. 16): ‘ And other 
_ sheep have I which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, 
and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one flock, one 
shepherd.” And again, in a profound prophetic utterance 
_ (iv. 21 ἢ): “The hour cometh when neither in this mountain 

{that of the Samaritans, who stand here as representatives of 

the Gentiles] nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the Father; ye 

worship what ye know not; we worship what we know, for 
salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, 
_ when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and 
truth.” ‘This passage is of importance, because it is something 
_ more than a merely formal classification; it defines, in a 
positive manner, the three possible religious standpoints and 
apportions them among the different peoples. First of all, 
there is ignorance of God, together with an external and there- 
fore an erroneous worship (=the Gentiles, or Samaritans) ; 
secondly, there is a true knowledge of God together with a 
wrong, external worship (=the Jews); and thirdly, there is true 
knowledge of God together with worship that is inward and 

Saviour flashed on the world . . . . and the new succession of the people arose,” 
etc.). On the other hand, Christians are also the ‘‘ non-gens,” since they are 
not a nation ; cp. Orig., Hom. I. in Ps. xxxvi. (vol. xii. p. 155): ‘‘ Nos sumus 
‘non gens’ [Deut, xxxii. 21], qui pauci ex ista civitate credimus, et alii ex alia, et 
nusquam gens integra ab initio credulitatis videtur assumpta. Non enim sicut 
Iudaeorum gens erat vel Aegyptiorum gens ita etiam Christianorum genus gens est 
una vel integra, sed sparsim ex singulis gentibus congregantur.”—For Christians 
as a distinctive genus, or as the genus of the truly pious, see Aart. Polyc., iii., 
ἡ γενναιότης τοῦ θεοφιλοῦς καὶ θεοσεβοῦς γένους τῶν Χριστιανῶν (‘‘the brave 
spirit of the God-beloved and God-fearing race of Christians”); xiv., πᾶν τὸ 
γένος τῶν δικαίων (‘‘ the whole race of the righteous”) ; Martyr, Jenat. Antioch., 
ii, τὸ τῶν Χριστιανῶν θεοσεβὲς γένος (the pious race of Christians). Also 
Melito, in Eus., H.Z., iv. 26. 5, τὸ τῶν θεοσεβῶν γένος (‘‘the race of the 
pious ”), Arnobius, i. 1 (‘‘ Christiana gens”), pseudo-Josephus, Zestim. de Christo 
(τὸ φῦλον τῶν Χριστιανῶν ---ἰῃ tribe of the Christians); Ovac. Szdyll., iv. 136, 
εὐσεβέων φῦλον, etc. Several educated Christians correlated the idea of a new 
and at the same time a universal people with the Stoic cosmopolitan idea, as, for 
_ example, Tertullian, who points out more than once that Christians only recognise 
one state, z.e., the world. Similarly, Tatian writes (Ovat. xxviii.): ‘‘I repudiate 
your legislation; there ought to be only one common polity for all men” (ris 
παρ᾽ ὑμῖν κατέγνων νομοθεσίας " μίαν μὲν γὰρ ἐχρῆν εἶναι καὶ κοινὴν ἁπάντων τὴν 
πολιτείαν). This democratic and cosmopolitan feature of Christianity was un- 
doubtedly of great use to the propaganda among the lower and middle classes, 
particularly throughout the provinces. Religious equality was felt, up to a 
certain degree, to mean political and social equality as well. 



therefore true (=the Christians). This view gave rise to many 
similar conceptions in early Christianity ; it was the precursor 
of a series of cognate ideas which formed the basis of early 
Christian speculations upon the history of religion. It was the 
so-called ‘gnostics” in particular who frankly built their 
systems upon ideas of this kind. In these systems, Greeks (or 
pagans), Jews, and Christians sometimes appear as different 
grades ; sometimes the two first are combined, with Christians 
subdivided into “psychic” (ψύχικοι) and “pneumatic” — 
(πνευμάτικοι) members; and finally a fourfold division is also 
visible, viz., Greeks (or pagans), Jews, churchfolk, and “ pneu- 
matic” persons.'. During that period, when religions were 
undergoing transformation, speculations on the history of 
religion were in the air; they are to be met with even in 
inferior and extravagant systems of religion.? But from all 
this we must turn back to writers of the Catholic church with 
their triple classification. . 

In one early Christian document from the opening of the 
second century, of which unfortunately we possess only a few 
fragments (2.¢., the Preaching of Peter, in Clem., Strom., vi. 5. 41), 
Christians are warned not to fashion their worship on the model 
of the Greeks or of the Jews (μὴ κατὰ τοὺς ENAnvas σέβεσθε 
τὸν θεόν. . .. μηδὲ κατὰ lovdaiovs σέβεσθε). ‘Then we read: 
ὥστε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως μανθάνοντες ἃ παραδίδομεν ὑμῖν, 
φυλάσσεσθε καινῶς τὸν θεὸν διὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ σεβόμενοι" εὕρομεν 
γὰρ ἐν ταῖς γραφαῖς καθῶς ὁ κύριος λέγει" ἰδοὺ διατίθεμαι ὑμῖν 
καινὴν διαθήκην οὐχ ὡς διεθέμην τοῖς πατράσιν ὑμῶν ἐν ὄρει 
Χωρήβ᾽ νέαν ὑμῖν διέθετο, τὰ yap Ἑλλήνων καὶ Ἰουδαίων παλαιά, 
ὑμεῖς δὲ οἱ καινῶς αὐτὸν τρίτῳ γένει σεβόμενοι Χριστιανοί (“So 

1 ΤΊ is impossible here to go into the question of how this ethnological division 
of humanity intersected and squared with the other religious division made by the 
gnostics, viz., the psychological (into ‘‘hylic,” ‘‘ psychic,” and ‘‘ pneumatic” 

2 With regard to the religious system of the adherents of Simon Magus, we ~ 
have this fragmentary and obscure piece of information in Irenzeus (I. xxiii.) : Simon 
taught that ‘‘ he himself was he who had appeared among the Jews as the Son, 
who had descended in Samaria as the Father, and made his advent among other — 
nations as the holy Spirit” (‘‘Semetipsum esse qui inter Judaeos quidem quasi © 
filius apparuerit, in Samaria autem quasi pater descenderit, in reliquis vero 
gentibus quasi spiritus sanctus adventaverit ”’), : 




do you keep what you have learnt from us holily and justly, 
worshipping God anew through Christ. For we find in the 
scriptures, as the Lord saith, Behold I make a new covenant 
with you, not as I made it with your fathers in Mount Horeb. 
A new covenant he has made with us, for that of the Greeks 
and Jews is old, but ye who worship him anew im the third 
manner are Christians ”).+ 

This writer also distinguishes Greeks, Jews, and Christians, 

and distinguishes them, like the fourth evangelist, by the degree — 
of their knowledge and worship of God. But the remark- ' 

_able thing is his explicit assumption that there are three 

classes, neither more nor less, and his deliberate description of 
Christianity as the new or third genus of worship. There are 
several similar passages which remain to be noticed, but this 
is the earliest of them all. Only, it is to be remarked that 
Christians do not yet call themselves “the third race”; it is 
their worship which is put third in the scale. The writer 
classifies humanity, not into three peoples, but into three 
groups of worshippers. 

Similarly the unknown author of the epistle to Diognetus. 
Only, with him the conception of three classes of worshippers is 
definitely carried over into that of three peoples (“ Christians 
esteem not those whom the Greeks regard as gods, nor do they 
observe the superstition of the Jews... . [thou enquirest] 
about the nature of this fresh development or interest which 
has entered life now and not previously,” ch. i.; cp. also ch. v. : 
“They are attacked as aliens by the Jews, and persecuted by 
the Greeks”). This is brought out particularly in his endeavour 

to prove that as Christians have a special manner of life, exist- 

ing socially and politically by themselv ees they have a legitimate 
claim to be ranked as a special “ nation.” 

In his Apology to the Emperor Pius, Aristides distinctly 
arranges human beings in three “orders,” which are equivalent 
to nations, as Aristides assigns to each its genealogy—z.e., its 

historical origin. He writes (ch. ii.): φανερὸν yap ἐστιν ἡμῖν, 

> ~ of t , “4 5) , 3 “ a , ye nse 
ὦ βασιλεῦ, ὅτι τρια yevyn εἰσιν ἀνθρώπων ἐν τῷδε τῷ κόσμῳ᾽ ὧν 

1 The term “ religio Christiana” does not occur till Tertullian, who uses it 
quite frequently. The apologists speak of the distinctive θεοσέβεια of Christians. 

. | 
AA ChypAoe 


εἰσιν of παρ᾽ ὑμῖν λεγομένων θεῶν προσκυνηταὶ καὶ ᾿Τουδαῖοι Kat 
Χριστιανοί" αὐτοὶ δὲ πάλιν οἱ τοὺς πολλοὺς σεβόμενοι θεοὺς εἰς 
τρία διαρροῦνται γένη, Χαλδαίους τε καὶ “EXAnvas καὶ Αἰγυπτίους 
(then follows the evidence for the origin of these nations, whilst 
the Christians are said to “derive their genealogy from Jesus 
Christ ”).! 

How seriously Irenzeus took this idea of the Christians as a 
special people, is evident from his remarks in iv. 30, The 
gnostics had attacked the Jews and their God for having appro- 
priated the gold and silver vessels of the Egyptians. To which 
Irenzeus retorts that it would be much more true to accuse 
Christians of robbery, inasmuch as all their possessions origi- 
nated with the Romans. “Who has the better right to gold 
and silver? The Jews, who took it as a reward for their labour 
in Egypt? or we, who have taken gold from the Romans and 
the rest of the nations, though they were not our debtors?” 
This argument would be meaningless unless Irenzeus regarded 
Christians as a nation which was sharply differentiated from 
the rest of the peoples and had no longer anything to do with 

them. As a matter of fact, he regarded the exodus of Israel ; 

from Egypt as a type of the “ profectio ecclesiae e gentibus” 
(iv. 30. 4). 

The religious philosophy of history set forth by Clement of 
Alexandria rests entirely upon the view that these two nations, 

1 **Tt is clear to us, O king, that there are three orders of mankind in this 
world ; these are, the worshippers of your acknowledged gods, the Jews, and the 
Christians, Furthermore, those who worship a plurality of gods are again 
divided into three orders, viz., Chaldeans, Greeks, and Egyptians.” In the 
Syrian and Armenian versions the passage runs somewhat otherwise. ‘‘ This is 
clear, O king, that there are four races of men in the world, barbarians and Greeks, 
Jews and Christians” (omitting altogether the further subdivision of the Greeks 
into three -classes), Several scholars prefer this rendering, though it should be 
noted that Hippolytus also, in P#z/os., x. 30 (twice) and 31 (twice), contrasts the 
Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Greeks with the Jews and Christians. Still, the question 
is one of minor importance for our present purpose.—Justin (D¢a/. cxxiii.) also 
derives Christians from Christ, not as their teacher but as their progenitor: 
ὡς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἑνὸς ᾿Ιακὼβ ἐκείνου, τοῦ καὶ Ἰσραὴλ ἐπικληθέντος, τὸ πᾶν γένος ὑμῶν 
προσηγόρευτο Ἰακὼβ καὶ ᾿Ισραήλ, οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ γεννήσαντος ἡμᾶς els 
θεὸν Χριστοῦ. . . . καὶ θεοῦ τέκνα ἀληθινὰ καλούμεθα καὶ ἐσμέν. . .. (* Asall 
your nation has been called Jacob and Israel from the one man Jacob, who was 
surnamed Israel, so from Christ who begat us unto God . . . . we are called, and 
we are, God’s true children”’), 

a eee 



Greeks and Jews, were alike trained by God, but that they are 
now (see Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians) to be raised into the 
higher unity of a third nation. It may suffice to bring forward 
three passages bearing on this point. In Strom., iii. 10. 70, he 
writes (on the saying “ where two or three are gathered together,” 
etc.): εἴη δ᾽ ἂν καὶ ἡ ὁμόνοια τῶν πολλῶν ἀπὸ τῶν τριῶν ἀριθ- 
μουμένη μεθ᾽ ὧν ὁ κύριος, ἡ μία ἐκκλησία, ὁ εἷς ἄνθρωπος, τὸ γένος 
τὸ ἕν. ἢ μή τι μετὰ μὲν τοῦ ἑνὸς τοῦ ᾿Τουδαίου ὁ κύριος νομοθετῶν 
ἣν, προφητεύων δὲ ἤδη καὶ τὸν Ἰερεμίαν ἀποστέλλων εἰς Βαβυ- 
λῶνα, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦς ἐξ ἐθνῶν διὰ τῆς προφητείας καλῶν, συνῆγε 
λαοῦς τοῦς δύο, τρίτος δὲ ἣν ἐκ τῶν δυεῖν κτιζόμενος εἰς καινὸν 
ἄνθρωπον, ᾧ δὴ ἐμπεριπατεῖ τε καὶ κατοικεῖ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ 
(“Now the harmony of the many, calculated from the three 
with whom the Lord is present, might signify the one church, 
the one man, the one race. Or was the Lord legislating with 
the one Jew [at Sinai], and then, when he prophesied and sent 
Jeremiah to Babylon, calling some also from the heathen, did 
he collect the two peoples together, while the third was created 
out of the twain into a new man, wherein he is now resident, 
dwelling within the church”). Again, in Strom., v. 14. 98, on 
Plato’s Republic, iii. p. 415: εἰ μή τι τρεῖς Twas ὑποτιθέμενος 
φύσεις, τρεῖς πολιτείας, ὡς ὑπέλαβόν τινες, διαγράφει, καὶ Ἰουδαίων 
μὲν ἀργυρᾶν, Ἑλλήνων δὲ τρίτην [a corrupt passage, incorrectly 
read as early as Eus., Prepar., xiii. 13; on the margin of L there 
is the lemma, ‘EAAjvwv σιδηρὰν ἣ χαλκήν, Χριστιανῶν χρυσῆν], 
Χριστιανῶν δὲ, οἷς ὁ χρυσὸς ὁ βασιλικὸς ἐγκαταμέμικται, τὸ ἅγιον 
πνεῦμα (“* Unless he means by his hypothesis of three natures to 
describe, as some conjecture, three polities, the Jews being the 
silver one, and the Greeks the third [the lemma running thus :— 
“The Greeks being the iron or brass one, and the Christians 
the gold one ™], along with the Christians, with whom the regal 
gold is mixed, even the holy Spirit”). Finally, in Strom., vi. 
5. 42: ἐκ γοῦν τῆς “Ἑλληνικῆς παιδείας, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκ τῆς νομικῆς 
εἰς τὸ ἕν γένος τοῦ σωζομένου συνάγονται λαοῦ οἱ τὴν πίστιν 
προσιέμενοι, οὐ χρόνῳ διαιρουμένων τῶν τριῶν λαῶν, ἵνα τις 
φύσεις ὑπολάβοι τριττάς, κιτ.λ. (“ From the Hellenic discipline, 
as also from that of the law, those who accept the faith are 
gathered into the one race of the people who are saved—not 


that the peoples are separated by time, as though one were to 
suggest three different natures,” etc.)." 

Evidence may be led also from other early Christian writers 
to show that the triad of “Greeks (Gentiles), Jews, and 
Christians” was the church’s basal conception of history.? It 
was employed with especial frequency in the interpretation of 
biblical stories. Thus Tertullian enlists it in his exposition of 
the prodigal son (de Pudic., viii. f.); Hippolytus (Comm. im 
Daniel, ed. Bonwetsch, p. 32) finds the Christians in Susanna, 
and the Greeks and Jews in the two elders who lay snares for 
her; while pseudo-Cyprian (de Mont. Sina et Ston, vii.) explains 
that the two thieves represent the Greeks and Jews. But, so 
far as I am aware, the blunt expression “ We Christians are 
the third race” only occurs once in early Christian literature 
subsequent to the Preaching of Peter (where, moreover, it is 
simply Christian worship which is described as the third class); 
and that is in the pseudo-Cyprianic tract de Pascha Computus 
(c. 17), written in 242-243 a.p. Unfortunately, the context of the 
expression is not quite clear. Speaking of hell-fire, the author 
declares it has consumed the opponents of Ananias, Azarias, and 
Misael, “et ipsos tres pueros a dei filio protectos—in mysterio 
nostro qui sumus tertium genus hominum—non_ vexavit” 
(‘“‘ Without hurting, however, those three lads, protected by the 
Son of God—in the mystery which pertains to us who are the 
third race of mankind”). It is hard to see how the writer could 
feel he was reminded of Christians as the third race of men 
by the three children who were all-pleasing in God’s sight, 
although they were cast into the fiery furnace; still, reminded 
he was, and at any rate the inference to be drawn from the passage 
is that he must have been familiar with the description of 
Christians as a “third race.” What sense he attached to it, we 


1 Clement (S¢vom., ii. 15. 67) once heard a ‘‘ wise man”’ explain that Gentiles 
(*‘ seat of the ungodly”), Jews (‘‘ way of sinners”), and heretics (‘‘seat of the 
scornful’’) were meant in Ps, i. 1. This addition of ‘‘heretics” is simply due to 
the passage under discussion. 

2 The letter of Hadrian to Servianus (Vopisc., Saturnin., viii.) is to be included 
among these witnesses, ifit isa Christian fabrication: ‘‘ Hunc (nummum) Christiani, 
hunc Judaei, hunc omnes venerantur et gentes” (‘‘ Christians, Jews, and all 
nations worship this one thing, money”). 

a | 



— ha 


are not yet in a position to determine with any certainty ; but 
we are bound to assume, in the first instance, from our previous 
investigations, that Christians were to him a third race alongside 
of the Greeks (Gentiles) and Jews. Whether this assumption is 
correct-or false, is a question to be decided in the second section 
of our inquiry. 


The consciousness of being a people,' and of being indeed 
the primitive and the new people, did not remain abstract or 
unfruitful in the church; it was developed in a great variety 
of directions. In this respect also the synagogue had led 
the way at every point, but Christianity met its claim by 
making that claim her own and extending it, wherever this 
was possible, beyond the limits within which Judaism had con- 
fined it. : 

There were three cardinal directions in which the church 
voiced her peculiar consciousness of being the primitive people. 
(1) She demonstrated that, like any other people, she had a 
characteristic life. (2) She tried to show that so far as the 
philosophical learning, the worship, and the polity of other 
peoples were praiseworthy, they were plagiarized from the 
Christian religion. (3) She began to set on foot, though merely 
in the shape of tentative ideas, some political reflections upon 
her own actual importance within the world-empire of Rome, 
and also upon the positive relation between the latter and herself 
as the new religion for the world. 

1. The proofs advanced by early Christianity with regard to 
its πολιτεία were twofold. ‘The theme of one set was stated by 
Paul in Philippians iii. 20: “Our citizenship (πολιτεία) is in 

1 Cp. the first book of the Church History of Eusebius, especially ch. iv. : τῆς 
μὲν yap τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ παρουσίας νεωστὶ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις ἐπι- 
λαμψάσης, νέον ὁμολογουμένως ἔθνος, οὐ μικρὸν οὐδ᾽ ἀσθενὲς οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ γωνίας που 
γῆς ἱδρυμένον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν πολυανθρωπότατόν τε καὶ θεοσεβέστατον 

. τὸ παρὰ τοῖς πᾶσι τῇ τοῦ Χριστοῦ προσηγορίᾳ τετιμημένον (“΄ 7ὲ ἐς agreed 
that when the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ recently broke upon all men, 
there appeared ὦ new natzon, admittedly neither small nor weak nor dwelling in 
any corner of the earth, but the most numerous and pious of all nations... , 
honoured by all men with the title of Christ ”’), 


heaven” (cp. Heb. xiii. 13 f.: “Let us go outside the camp 
. ... for here we have no permanent city, but we seek one 
which is to come”). On this view Christians feel themselves 
pilgrims and sojourners on earth, walking by faith and not by 
sight; their whole course of life is a renunciation of the world, 
and is determined solely by the future kingdom towards which 
they hasten. ‘This mode of life is voiced most loudly in the 
first similitude of Hermas, where two cities with their two lords 
are set in opposition—one belonging to the present, the other 
to the future. The Christian must have nothing whatever to 
do with the former city and its lord the devil; his whole course 
of life must be opposed to that of the present city, with its 
arrangements and laws. In this way Christians were able 
emphatically to represent themselves as really a special people, 
with a distinctive course of life; but they need not have felt 
surprised when people took them at their word, and dismissed 
_ them with the remark: πάντες ἑαυτοὺς φονεύσαντες πορεύεσθε 
ἤδη παρὰ τὸν θεὸν καὶ ἡμῖν πράγματα μὴ παρέχετε (“ Go and 
kill yourselves, every one of you; begone to God at once, and 
leave us in peace ”), quoted by Justin, Apol., II. iv. 

This, however, represented but one side of the proof that 

Christianity had a characteristic life and order of its own. 

With equal energy an attempt was made to show that there was 
a polity realized in Christianity which was differentiated from 
that of other nations by its absolute morality (see above, pp. 
205 f.). As early as the apostolic epistles, no point of dogma 
is more emphatically brought forward than the duty of a holy 
life, by means of which Christians are to shine as lights amid a 
corrupt and crooked generation. ‘Not like the Gentiles,” nor 

like the Jews, but as the people of God—that is the watchword. — 

Every sphere of life, down to the most intimate and trivial, was 
put under the control of the Spirit and re-arranged; we have 
only to read the Didaché in order to find out the earnestness 
with which Christians took “the way of life.” In line with 
this, a leading section in all the Christian apologies was occupied 
by the exposition of the Christian polity as a polity which was 
purely ethical, the object being in every case to show that this 
Christian polity was in accordance with the highest moral 

may Sp 


standards, standards which even its opponents had to recognize, 
and that for this very reason it was opposed to the polity of the 
other nations. The Apologies of Justin (especially I. xiv. f.), 
Aristides (xv.), Tatian/ and ‘Tertullian especially, fall to be 
considered in this light.1_ The conviction that they are in 
possession of a distinctive polity is also voiced in the notion of 
Christians as the army of the true God and of Christ.” 

2. The strict morality, the monotheistic view of the world, 
and the subordination of the entire life of man, private and 
social, to the regulations of a supreme ethical code—all this is 
“what has been from the very first” (“quod ab initio fuit”). 
Now as the church finds this once more repeated in her own life, 
she recognizes in this phenomenon the guarantee that she herself, , 
though apparently the youngest of the nations, is in reality the . 
oldest. Furthermore, as she undertakes to bring forward proof 
for this conviction by drawing upon the books of Moses, which 
she appropriated for her own use (cp. Tatian, Theophilus, 

1 The belauded description in the epistle to Diognetus (v. 6) is a fine piece of 
rhetoric, but not much more than that. The author manages to express three 
aspects, as it were, in a single breath : the Christian polity as the climax of morals, 
the Christian aloofness from the world, and the inwardness by which this religion 
was enabled to live in the midst of the world and adapt itself to all outward 
conditions without any loss of purity. A man who is able to weave these ideas 
into one perfect woof, either stands on the high level of the fourth evangelist—a 
position to which the author can hardly be promoted—or else incurs the suspicion 
of paying no serious attention to any one of the three ideas in question. 

2 Hermas (Sz., ix. 17) brings forward one most important aspect of the 
Christian polity, viz., its power of combining in a mental and moral wzz¢y peoples 
of the most varied capacities and customs. The stones built into the tower (2.6., 
the church) from the various mountains (the nations) are at first many-coloured, 
but upon being built in, they all acquire the same white colour: λαβόντες τὴν 
σφραγῖδα μίαν φρόνησιν ἔσχον καὶ ἕνα νοῦν, καὶ μία πίστις αὐτῶν ἐγένετο καὶ 
μία ἀγάπη... . διὰ τοῦτο ἣ οἰκοδομὴ τοῦ πύργου μιᾷ xpda ἐγένετο λαμπρὰ ὡς 
6 ἥλιος (*‘ On receiving the seal they had one understanding and one mind, one 
faith and one love became theirs . . . . wherefore the fabric of the tower became 
of one colour, bright as the sun”); cp. alsoIren., 1, 10. 2. Celsus (ες. Ceés., VIII. 
Ixxii.) longed ardently for such a unity of mankind, instead of humanity being 
split up into nationalities. But he regarded it asa mere Utopia, Ei yap δὴ οἷόν 
τε εἷς ἕνα συμφρονῆσαι νόμον τοὺς τὴν ᾿Ασίαν καὶ Εὐρώπην καὶ Λιβύην Ἕλληνάς τε 
καὶ βαρβάρους ἄχρι περάτων νενεμημένους (‘‘ Were it at all possible that the 
inhabitants of Asia, Europe, and Libya, Greeks and barbarians alike, should unite 
to obey one law”), On which Origen remarks: ἀδύνατον τοῦτο νομίσας εἶναι 
ἐπιφέρει [sc. Celsus] ὅτι 6 τοῦτο οἰόμενος οἷδεν οὖδέν (‘‘ Judging this an impossi- 
bility, he adds that anyone who thinks it possible knows nothing at all’’). 


Clement, Tertullian, and Julius Africanus),! she is thereby 
dethroning the Jewish people and claiming for herself the 
primitive revelation, the primitive wisdom, and the genuine 
worship. Hence she acquires the requisite insight and courage, 
not merely to survey and appropriate for herself the content of 

© all connected with revelation, wisdom, and worship that had 

appeared on the horizon of other nations, but to survey and 
estimate these materials as if they were merely copies made from 
an original in her own possession. We all know the space 
devoted by the early Christian apologies to the proof that Greek 
philosophy, so far as it merited praise and was itself correct, had 
been plagiarized from the primitive literature which belonged 
to Christians. ‘The efforts made in this direction culminate in 
the statement that “ Whatever truth is uttered anywhere has 
come from us.” The audacity of this assertion is apt to hide 
from us at this time of day the grandeur and vigour of the self- 
consciousness to which it gives expression, Justin had already 
claimed any true piece of knowledge as “ Christian,” whether it 
occurred in Homer, the tragedians, the comic poets, or the 
philosophers. Did it never dawn on him, or did he really 
suspect, that his entire standpoint was upset by such an exten- 
sion of its range, and that what was specifically “ Christian ” 
was transformed into what was common to all men? Clement 
of Alexandria, at any rate, who followed him in this line of 
thought, not merely foresaw this inference, but deliberately 
followed it up. 

By comparing itself with philosophy, early Christianity gave 
itself out as a “ philosophy,” while those who professed it were 
“ philosophers.” This, however, is one form of its self-conscious- 
ness which must not be overrated, for it is almost exclusively 
confined to the Christian apologetic and polemic. Christians 
never doubted, indeed, that their doctrine was really the truth, 
and therefore the true philosophy. But then it was infinitely 
more than a philosophy. It was the wisdom of God. They 
too were different from mere philosophers; they were God’s 

1 Note in passing that this marks the beginning in general of the universal 
chronography of history, and consequently of the general Christian outlook upon 
the entire course of human history. 

a lagi 


people, God’s friends. It suited their polemic, however, to 
designate Christianity as philosophy, or “barbarian” phil- 
osophy, and adherents of Christianity as “philosophers.” And 
that for two reasons. In the first place, it was the only way 
of explaining to outsiders the nature of Christian doctrine—for 
to institute a positive comparison between it and pagan religions 
was a risky procedure. And in the second place, this pre- 
supposition made it possible for Christians to demand from the 
State as liberal treatment for themselves as that accorded to 
philosophy and to philosophic schools. It is in this light, 
pre-eminently,; that we must understand the favourite parallel 
drawn by the apologists between Christianity and philosophy. 
Individual teachers who were at the head either of a school 
(διδασκαλεῖον) within the church or of an independent school, 
did take the parallel more seriously ;' but such persons were in 
a certain sense merely adjuncts of catholic Christendom.? 

The charge of plagiarism was not merely levelled against 
philosophy, so far as philosophy was genuine, but also against 
any rites and methods of worship which furnished actual or 
alleged parallels to those of Christianity. Little material of 
this kind was to be found in the official cults of the Greeks and 
Romans, but this deficiency was more than made up for by the 
rich spoil which lay in the mysteries and the exotic cults, the 
cult of Mithra,in particular, attracting the attention of 
Christian apologists in this connection at a very early period. 
The verdict on all such features was quite simple: the demons, 
it was argued, had imitated Christian rites in the cults of 
paganism. If it could not be denied that those pagan rites 
and sacraments were older than their Christian parallels, the 
plea readily suggested itself that the demons had given a 

1 Such teachers, with their small groups, hardly felt themselves to be the 
** primitive people.” Their consciousness of entire independence was expressed 
in the titles of ‘‘ gifted” and ‘‘learned.” We shall have to discuss the Christian 
διδασκαλεῖα and its significance for the Christian propaganda in another connection ; 
but we can well understand how pagans found the Christians’ claim to be 
“learned” and ‘‘ philosophers” a peculiarly ridiculous and presumptuous pre- 
tension. On their part, they dubbed Christians as credulous, and scoffed at them 
as πιστοί (‘‘ believers”), who put faith in foreign fables and old wives’ gossip. 

2 They have nothing to do with the primitive shape assumed by Christianity, 
that of Jesus as the teacher and the disciples as his pupils. 


distorted copy of Christianity previous to its real appearance, 
with the object of discrediting it beforehand. Baptism, the 
Lord’s supper, the rites of expiation, the cross, etc., are instances 
in point. ‘The interests of dogma are always able to impinge 
on history, and they do so constantly. But here we have to 
consider some cases which are specially instructive, since the 
Christian rites and sacraments attained their final shape under 
the influence of the mysteries and their rites (not, of course, the 
rites of any special cultus, but those belonging to the general 
type of the mysteries), so that dogma made the final issue of 
the process its first cause. Yet even in this field the guid 
pro quo appears in a more favourable light when we notice that 
Christendom posits itself as the original People at the dawn 
of human history, and that this consciousness determines their 
entire outlook upon that history. For, in the light of this pre- 
supposition, the Christians’ confiscation of those pagan rites 
and ceremonies simply denotes the assertion of their character 
as ideally human and therefore divine. Christians embody the 
fundamental principles of that divine revelation and worship 
which are the source of human history, and which constitute 
the primitive possession of Christianity, although that possession 
has of course lain undiscovered till the present moment. 

3. The most interesting side of the Christian consciousness 
of being a people, is what may be termed, in the narrower sense 
of the word, the political. Hitherto, however, it has been 
studied less than the others. The materials are copious, but 
up till now little attention has been paid to them. I shall 
content myself here with laying bare the points of most 

The political consciousness of the primitive church was based 
on three presuppositions. ‘There was first of all the political 
element in the Jewish apocalyptic, which was called forth by 
the demand of the imperial cultus and the terror of the persecu- 

tion. ‘Then there was the rapid transference of the gospel from 

1 Tertullian’s sentence (AZo/., xxxviii.): ‘* Nulla magis res nobis aliena quam 
publica ; unam omnium rempublicam agnoscimus, mundum” (‘‘ Nothing is more 
alien to us than politics; we acknowledge but one universal state, the world ”) 
has a Stoic tinge; at best, it may be taken with a grain of salt. Besides, people 
who despise the state always pursue a very active policy of their own. 





the Jews to the Greeks, and the unmistakable affinity between 
Christianity and Hellenism, as well as between the church and 
the world-wide power of Rome. Thirdly, there was the fall and 
ruin of Jerusalem and the Jewish state. The first of these 
elements-stood in antithesis to the two others, so that in this 
way the political consciousness of the church came to be defined 
in opposite directions and had to work itself out of initial 

The politics of Jewish apocalyptic viewed the world-state as 

a diabolic state, and consequently took up a purely negative 

attitude towards it. This political view is put uncompromis- 
ingly in the apocalypse of John, where it was justified by the 
Neronic persecution, the. imperial claim for worship, and the 
Domitianic reign of terror. The largest share of attention, 
comparatively speaking, has been devoted by scholars to this 
political standpoint, in so far as it lasted throughout the second 
and the third centuries, and quite recently (1901) Neumann 
has discussed it thoroughly in his study of Hippolytus. The 
remarkable thing is that although Christians were by no means 
numerous till after the middle of the second century, they 
recognized that Christianity formed the central point of 
humanity as the field of political history as well as its determin- 
ing factor. Such a self-consciousness is perfectly intelligible in 
the case of Judaism, for the Jews were really a large nation and 
had a great history behind them. But it is truly amazing that 
a tiny set of people should confront the entire strength of the 
Roman empire,! that it should see in the persecution of the 
Christians the chief réle of that empire, and that it should make 

1 Tertullian was the first who was able to threaten the state with the great 

_ number of Christians (Afo/., xxxvii., written shortly before 200 A.D.), for up till 

then people had merely endeavoured to hold out the terrors of the calamities at 
the close of the world and the return of Christ. Although Christians still lacked 
a majority in the empire, still (from the outset) a substitute for this, so to speak, 
was found in the telling fact of the broad diffusion of Christianity throughout the 
whole empire and beyond its bounds. Even as early as the first generations, the 
fact that Christians were to be found everywhere strengthened and moulded their 
self-consciousness. In contrast to nations shut up within definite boundaries, 
even though these were as large as those of the Parthians, Tertullian calls 
Christians (AZo/., xxxvii.) the ‘‘ gens totius orbis,” z.e., the people of the whole 
world. And this had been felt long before even Tertullian wrote. 
VOL. I. : 17 


the world’s history culminate in such a conflict. The only 
explanation of this lies in the fact that the church simply took 
the place of Israel, and consequently felt herself to be a people ; 
this implied that she was also a political factor, and indeed the 
factor which ranked as decisive alongside of the state and by 
which in the end the state was to be overcome. Here we have 
already the great problem of “church and state” making its 
appearance, and the uncompromising form given to it at this 
period became normal for succeeding ages. The relationship 
between these two powers assumed other forms, but this form 
continued to lie concealed beneath them all. 

This, however, is only one side of the question. ‘The transi- 
tion of the gospel from the Jews to the Greeks, the unmistak- 
able affinity between Christianity and Hellenism, as well as 
between the church and the Roman world-power, and finally 
the downfall of the Jewish state at the hands of Rome—these 
factors occasioned ideas upon the relation of the empire to the 
church which were very different from the aims of the accepted 
apocalyptic. Any systematic treatment of this view would be 
out of place, however; it would give a wrong impression of the 
situation. ‘The better way will be, as we are dealing merely 
with tentative ideas, to get acquainted with the most important 
features and look at them one after another. . 

2 Thess. ii. 5-7 is the oldest passage in Christian literature 
in which a positive meaning is attached to the Roman empire. 
It is represented there, not as the realm of antichrist, but, on — 
the contrary, as the restraining power by means of which the — 
final terrors and the advent of antichrist are held in check. 
For by ro κατέχον (ὁ κατέχων), “that which (or he who) 
restrains,” we must understand the Roman empire. If this be 
so, it follows that the church and the empire could not be — 
considered merely as diametrically opposed to each other. ' 

Rom. xiii. 1 f. makes this quite plain, and proceeds to draw 
the inference that civil authority is θεοῦ διάκονος (“a minister 
of God”), appointed by God for the suppression of wickedness ; 
resistance to it means resistance to a divine ordinance. Con- 
sequently one must not merely yield to its force, but obey it 
for conscience’ sake. The very payment of taxes is a moral — 


duty. The author of 1 Pet. ii. 13 Εἴ expresses himself in 
similar terms. But he goes a step further, following up the 
fear of God directly with honour due to the emperor (πάντας 
τιμήσατε, τὴν ἀδελφότητα ἀγαπᾶτε, τὸν θεὸν φοβεῖσθε, τὸν 
βασιλέα τιμᾶτε). Nothing could be more loyal than this 
conception, and it is noticeable that the author was writing in 
Asia Minor, among the provinces where the imperial cultus 

Luke begins his account of Christ with the words (iii. 1): 
ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Kaicapos 
Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. As has been 
correctly surmised, the allusion to the emperor Augustus is 
meant to be significant. It was the official and popular idea 
that with Augustus a new era dawned for the empire; the 
imperial throne was its *‘ peace,” the emperor its saviour (σωτήρ). 
Behind the earthly saviour, Luke makes the heavenly appear— 
he, too, is bestowed upon the whole world, aud what he brings 
is peace (ver. 14, ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη). Luke hardly intended to 
set Augustus and Christ in hostile opposition ; even Augustus 
and his kingdom are a sign of the new era. This may also be 

1 Cp. Tit. iii. 1, With regard to Paul’s language in Romans, one may recollect 
what a quiet and happy time the early years of Nero were. 

* Greek Christians usually called the emperor βασιλεύς (‘‘ king”), a common 
title in the East, where it had not the same servile associations as ‘‘ rex” had on 
the lips of people in the West. But βασιλεύς was also a title of the Lord Christ 
(κύριος Χριστός) which Christians dared not avoid uttering (not merely on account 
of ‘‘the kingdom of God,” βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ, but also because Jesus had called 
himself by this name: John xviii. 33 f.). This occasioned a painful dilemma, 
though prudent Christians made strenuous efforts to repudiate the apparent treason 
which their religious usage of this title inevitably suggested, and to make it clear 
that by ‘‘ kingdom” and ‘‘ king” they understood nothing earthly or human, but 
something divine (so already Justin’s Afo/., I. vi.). Some hotspurs, no doubt, 
declared to their judges that they recognised only ove king or emperor (God or 
Christ), and so drew upon themselves just punishment. But these cases were 
very rare. Christ was also called ‘‘imperator” in the West, but not in writings 
intended for publicity. 

3 Even the expression used in Eph. ii. 14, αὐτός ἐστιν % εἰρήνη ἡμῶν (‘he is 
our peace”), is modelled on the language applied to the emperor in Asia Minor. 
I have shown elsewhere how strongly this language has influenced the terminology 
of Luke in the above-mentioned passage of his gospel. No doubt we have to 
think of Micah v. 4, in connection with Eph. ii. 14 and Luke ii. 14. But this 
converging of different lines was quite characteristic of the-age and the idea in 


gathered from the book of Acts, which in my opinion has not 
any consciously political aim; it sees in the Roman empire, as 
opposed to Judaism, the sphere marked out for the new religion, 
it stands entirely aloof from any hostility to the emperor, and 
it gladly lays stress upon such facts as prove a tolerant mood 
on the part of the authorities towards Christians in the past. 

Justin (Apol., 1. xii.) writes to the emperor: ἀρωγοὶ ὑμῖν καὶ 
σύμμαχοι πρὸς εἰρήνην ἐσμὲν πάντων μᾶλλον ἀνθρώπων (“ We, 
more than any others, are your helpers and allies in promoting 
peace”), admitting thereby that the purpose of the empire was 
beneficial (pax terrena), and that the emperors sought to effect 
this purpose. Also, in describing Christians as the power ' best 
adapted to secure this end—inasmuch as they shun all crime, 
live a strictly moral life, and teach a strict morality, besides 
scaring and exorcising those supreme enemies of mankind, the 
demons—he too, in a certain sense, affirms a positive relation- 
ship between the church and the state. 

When the author of the epistle to Diognetus differentiates 
Christians from the world (the state) as the soul from the body 
(vi.) and elaborates his account of their relationship in a series 
of antitheses, he is laying down at the same time a positive 
relation between the two magnitudes in question: ἐγκέκλεισται 
μὲν ἡ ψυχὴ τῷ σώματι, συνέχει δὲ αὐτὴ TO σῶμα᾽ καὶ Χριστιανοὶ. 
κατέχονται μὲν ὡς ἐν φρουρᾷ τῷ κόσμῳ, αὐτοὶ δὲ συνέχουσι 
τὸν κόσμον (“The soul is shut up in the body, and yet holds 
the body together; so Christians are kept within the world as 
in a prison, yet they hold the world together”). Similarly 
Justin (Apol., II. vii.). 

All this implies already a positive political standpoint,? but 

1 Wherever mention is made of the power of the Christian people which 
upholds the state and frees humanity, it is always these two factors which are in 
view—their strict morality and their power over demons. Others also wield the 
former weapon, though not so well. But the second, the power over demons, 
pertains to Christians alone, and therefore they render an incomparable service to 
the state and to the human race, small though their numbers may be. From this 

conviction there grew up in Christianity the consciousness of being the power — 

which conserves and emancipates mankind in this world. 

2 I might also include here the remark of Athenagoras in his ‘‘ Supplicatio” to 
the emperors (xviii.}:: ἔχοιτε ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτῶν καὶ τὴν ἐπουράνιον βασιλεία» ἐξετάζειν" 
ὡς γὰρ ὑμῖν πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ πάντα κεχείρωται, ἄνωθεν τὴν βασιλείαν εἰληφόσι--- 


the furthest step in this direction was taken subsequently by 
Melito (in Eus., H.E., iv. 26). It is no mere accident that he 
writes in loyal Asia Minor. By noting Luke’s suggestion with 
regard to Augustus, as well as all that had been already said else- 
where upon the positive relations subsisting between the church 
and the world-empire, Melito could advance to the following 
statement of the situation in his Apology to Marcus Aurelius:— 

“This philosophy of ours certainly did flourish at first among 
a barbarian people. But springing up in the provinces under 
thy rule during the great reign of thy predecessor Augustus, 
it brought rich blessings to thine empire in particular. For 
ever since then the power of Rome has increased in size and 
splendour ; to this hast thou succeeded as its desired possessor, 
and as such shalt thou continue with thy son if thou wilt 
protect the philosophy which rose under Augustus and has risen 
with the empire, a philosophy which thine ancestors also held 
in honour along with other religions. The most convincing 
proof that the flourishing of our religion has been a boon to 
the empire thus happily inaugurated, is this—that the empire 
has suffered no mishap since the reign of Augustus, but, on the 
contrary, everything has increased its splendour and fame, in 
accordance with the general prayer.” 

Melito’s ideas! need no analysis; they are plainly and clearly 
stated. 'The world-empire and the Christian religion are foster- 
sisters; they form a pair; they constitute a new stage of human 
history ; the Christian religion means blessing and welfare to the 
empire, towards which it stands as the inward to the outward. 
Only when Christianity is protected and permitted to develop 

βασιλέως γὰρ ψυχὴ ἐν χειρὶ θεοῦ, φησὶ τὸ προφητικὸν πνεῦμα---οὕτως ἑνὶ τῷ θεῷ καὶ 
τῷ παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ λόγῳ υἱῷ νοουμένῳ ἀμερίστῳ πάντα ὑποτέτακται (‘‘ May you be able to 
discover the heavenly kingdom by considering yourselves! For as all things are 
subject to you, father and son, who have received the kingdom from above—since 
the king’s soul is in the hand of God, saith the spirit of prophecy,—so are all 
things subordinate to the one God and to the Logos proceeding from him, even 
the Son, who is not apprehended apart from him”). 

1 Tertullian’s opinion was different. He knew of no solidarity of Christianity 
and the empire: ‘‘ Sed et Caesares credidissent super Christo, si aut Caesares non 
essent necessarii saeculo, aut si et Christiani potuissent esse Caesares”’ (Afo/. xxi. : 
**Ves, the very Ceesars would have believed on Christ, if Caesars had not been 
necessary to the world, or if they could have been Caesars and Christians as well”’), 


itself freely, does the empire continue to preserve its size and 
splendour. Unless one is to suppose that Melito simply wanted 
to flatter—a supposition for which there is no ground, although 
there was flattery in what he said—the inference is that in the 
Christianity which formed part of the world-empire he really 
recognized a co-ordinate and sustaining inward force. Subse- 
quent developments justified this view of Melito, and in this 
light his political insight is marvellous. But still more mar- 
vellous is the fact that at a time like this, when Christians were 
still a feeble folk, he actually recognized in Christianity the one 
magnitude parallel to the state, and that simply on the ground 
of religion—+.e., as being a spiritual force which was entrusted 
with the function of supporting the state.! 

There is yet another early Christian writer on whom the 
analogy of Christendom and the world-empire dawned (a propos 
of its cecumenical range); only, he attempted to explain it in a 
very surprising fashion, which betrayed a deep hostility towards 
the empire. Hippolytus writes (tn Dan., iv. 9): “ For as our 
Lord was born in the forty-second year of the emperor Augustus, 
whence the Roman empire developed, and as the Lord also called 
all nations and tongues by means of the apostles and fashioned 
believing Christians into a people, the people of the Lord, and 
the people which consists of those who bear a new name—so was 
all this imitated to the letter by the empire of that day, ruling 
‘according to the working of Satan’: for it also collected to 
itself the noblest of every nation, and, dubbing them Romans, 
got ready for the fray. And that is the reason why the first 
census took place under Augustus, when our Lord was born at 
Bethlehem ; it was to get the men of this world, who enrolled 
for our earthly king, called Romans, while those who believed 
in a heavenly king were termed Christians, bearing on their 
foreheads the sign of victory over death.” 

1 Cp. also Orig., c. Cels., VIII. Ixx.: ἀλλ᾽ of καθ᾽ ὑπόθεσιν Κέλσου πάντες hye 
πεισθέντες Ῥωμαῖοι εὐχόμενοι περιέσονται τῶν πολεμίων ἤ οὐδὲ Thy ἀρχὴν πολεμή- 
σονται, φρουρούμενοι ὑπὸ θείας δυνάμεως, τῆς διὰ πεντήκοντα δικαίους πέντε πόλεις 
ὅλας ἐπαγγειλαμένης διασῶσαι (‘‘ According to the notion of Celsus, if all the 
Romans are brought to believe, they will either overcome their foes by praying, 
or refrain from fighting altogether, being guarded by that power divine which — 
promised to save five entire cities for the sake of fifty just persons’”’). 


The cecumenical range of the Roman empire is, therefore, a 
Statanic aping of Christianity. As the demons _purloined 
Christian philosophy and aped the Christian cultus and sacra- 

_ ments, so also did they perpetrate a plagiarism against the church 
by founding the great imperial state of Rome! This is the self- 
consciousness. of Christendom expressed in perhaps the most 
robust, but also in the most audacious form imaginable! The 
real cosmopolitan character of Christianity is stated by Octavius 
(Min. Feliz, xxxiii.) thus: “Nos gentes nationesque distingui- 
mus: deo una domus est mundus hic totus” (‘We draw dis- 
tinctions between nations and races, but to God the whole of this 
world is one household”). 

Origen’s political views are more accurate, but how extra- 

_ vagant are his ideas! In chapters lxvii.—lxxv. of his eighth book 
against Celsus, by dint of a fresh interpretation given to a 
primitive Christian conception, and a recourse to a Platonic idea, 
he propounds the idea that the church, this κόσμος τοῦ κόσμου 
(in Joh., vi. 38), or universe of the universe, is the future king- 
dom of the whole world, destined to embrace the Roman empire 
and humanity itself, to amalgamate and to replace the various 
realms of this world. Cp. ch. Ixviii.: “ For if, in the words of 
Celsus, all were to do as we do, then there is no doubt whatever 
that even the barbarians would become law-abiding and humane, 
so soon as they obeyed the Word of God ; then would all religions 
vanish, leaving that of Christ alone to reign. And reign it will 
one day, as the Word never ceases to gain soul after soul.” ‘This 
means the reversal of the primitive Christian hope. ‘The church 
now presents itself as the civilizing and cohesive power which is 
to create, even in the present age, a state that shall embrace an 
undivided humanity. Origen, of course, is not quite sure 
whether this is feasible in the present age. No further away than 
ch. lxxii., a propos of the question (to which Celsus gave a 
negative answer) whether Asia, Europe, and Libya, Greeks and 
barbarians alike, could agree to recognize one system of laws, we 
find him writing as follows: ‘ Perhaps,” he says, “such a result 
would not indeed be possible to those who are still in the body ; 
but it would not be impossible to those who are released from 
the body” (καὶ τάχα ἀληθῶς ἀδύνατον μὲν TO τοιοῦτο τοῖς ἔτι ἐν 


σώμασι, οὐ μὲν ἀδύνατον καὶ ἀπολυθεῖσιν αὐτῶν). In IL xxx. 
he writes: “In the days of Jesus, righteousness arose and ful- 
ness of peace, beginning with his birth. God prepared the 
nations for his teaching, by causing the Roman emperor to rule 
over all the world; there was no longer to be a plurality of 
kingdoms, else would the nations have been strangers to one 
another, and so the apostles would have found it harder to 
carry out the task laid on them by Jesus, when he said, ‘Go and 
teach all nations’”” Ὁ 

In his reply to Celsus (III. xxix.—xxx.), this great father of the 
church, who was at the same time a great and sensible statesman, 
submits a further political consideration, which is not high-flown 

this time, but sober. It has also the advantage of being im- | 

pressive and to the point. Although the passage is somewhat 

lengthy. I quote it here, as there is nothing like it in the 

mare of early Christianity Ὁ νόμο text in Hist. Dogma, 
i. 126] :— 

“ Apollo, according to Celsus, required the Metapontines to 
consider Aristeas as a god. But the Metapontines considered 
Aristeas was a man, and perhaps not even a respectable man, 
and this conviction of theirs seemed to them more valid than the 
declaration of the oracle that Aristeas was a god and deserving 
of divine honour. Consequently they would not obey Apollo, 
and no one regarded Aristeas as a god. But with regard to 
Jesus, we may say that it proved a blessing to the human race 
to acknowledge him as God’s son, as God appearing in a human 
souland body. ... . God, who sent Jesus, brought to nought all 
the conspiracies of the demons and gave success to the gospel 
of Jesus over the whole earth for the conversion and ameliora- 
tion of mankind, causing churches everywhere to be established, 
which should be ruled by other laws than those of superstitious, 
licentious, and evil men. For such is the character of the 
masses who constitute the assemblies throughout the various 
towns. Whereas, the churches or assemblies of God, whom 

Christ instructs, are ‘lights in the world, compared to the 

1 T do not understand, any more than Origen did, the political twaddle which 
Celsus (Ixxi.) professes to have heard from a Christian. It can hardly have come 
from a Christian, and it is impossible nowadays to ascertain what underlay it. I 
therefore pass it by. 


assemblies of the districts among which they live as strangers. 
For who would not allow that even the inferior members of the 
church, and such as take a lower place when judged by the 
standard of more eminent Christians—even these are far better 
people than the members of profane assemblies ? 

“Take the church of God at Athens; it is a peaceable and 
orderly body, as it desires to please God, who is over all. 
Whereas the assembly of the Athenians is refractory, nor can 
it be compared in any respect to the local church or assembly 
of God. ‘The same may be said of the church of God at Corinth 
and the local assembly of the people, as also of the church of 
God at Alexandria and the local assembly in that city. And 
if any candid person hears this and examines the facts of the 
case with a sincere love for the truth, he will admire him who 
conceived the design and was able to realize it, establish- 
ing churches of God to exist as strangers amid the popular 
assemblies of the various cities. Furthermore, if one compares 
the council of the Church of God with that of the cities, one 
by one, it would be found that many a councillor of the church 
is worthy to be a leader in God’s city, if such a city exists in 
the world; whereas other councillors in all parts of the world 
show not a trait of conduct to justify the superiority born of 
their position, which seems to give them precedence over their 
fellow-citizens. Such also is the result of any comparison 
between the president of the church in any city and the civic 
magistrates. It will be found that, in the matter of con- 
duct, even such councillors and presidents of the church as are 
extremely defective and indolent compared to their more ener- 
getic colleagues, are possessed of virtues which are in general 
superior to those of civic councillors and rulers.” 

At this point I shall break off the present part of our investi- 
gation. The evidence already brought forward will suffice to 
give some idea of how Christians held themselves to be the 
new People and the third race of mankind, and also of the in- 
ferences which they drew from these conceptions. But how did 
the Greeks and Romans regard this phenomenon of Christianity 
with its enormous claims? This is a question to which justice 
must be done in an excursus. 



For a proper appreciation of the Greek and Roman estimate of 
Christianity, it is essential, in the first instance, to recollect how 
the Jews were regarded and estimated throughout the empire, 
since it was generally known that the Christians had emanated 
from the Jews. 

Nothing is more certain than that the Jews were distinguished 
throughout the Roman empire as a special people in contrast 
to all others. Their imageless worship (ἀθεότης), their stubborn 
refusal to participate in other cults, together with their exclu- 
siveness (ἀμιξία), marked them off from all nations as a unique 
people. This uniqueness was openly acknowledged by the 

* There were also their special customs (circumcision, prohibition of swine’s flesh, 
the sabbath, etc.), but these did not contribute so seriously as ἀθεότης and ἀμιξία 
to establish the character of the Jews for uniqueness ; for customs either identical 
or somewhat similar were found among other Oriental peoples as well. For 
ἀθεότης (cp. my essay on ‘* The Charge of Atheism in the First Three Centuries,” 
Texte u. Unters., xxviii. 4), see Pliny, Wzst. Nat., xiii. 4. 46: ‘gens contumelia 
numinum insignis ”’ (‘‘ a race distinguished by its contempt for deities”); Tacit., 
fist., v. 5: ‘‘Judaei mente sola unumque numen intellegunt . . . . igitur nulla 
simulacra urbibus suis, nedum templis sistunt; non regibus haec adulatio non 
Caesaribus honor” (‘‘the Jews conceive of their deity as one, by the mind 

alone . . . . hence there are no images erected in their cities or even in their temples, 
This reverence is not paid to kings, nor this honour to the Czesars”) ; Juv., Sa¢ir., 

xiv. 97: ‘‘nil praeter nubes et caeli numen adorant” (‘‘ they venerate simply the - 

clouds and the deity of the sky”), etc. For μισανθρωπία and ἀμιξία, see Tacit. 
(Joc. cit.): ‘‘Apud ipsos fides obstinata, misericordia in promptu, sed adversus 
omnes alios hostile odium”’ (‘‘ Among themselves their honesty is inflexible, their 
compassion quick to move, but to all other persons they show the hatred of 
antagonism ”); and earlier still, Apollonius Molon (in Joseph., Apzon., ii. 14). 
Cp. Schiirer’s Gesch. des juid. Volk., 111.(8), p. 418 [Eng. trans., II. ii. 295]. 



legislation of Cesar. Except for a brief period, the Jews were 
certainly never expected to worship the emperor. Thus they 
stood alone by themselves amid all the other races who were 
included in, or allied to, the Roman empire. ‘The blunt 
formula “ We are Jews” never occurs in the Greek and Roman 
literature, so far as I know;! but the fact was there, 2.¢., the 
view was widely current that the Jews were a national pheno- 
menon by themselves, deficient in those traits which were 
common to the other nations.2. Furthermore, in every province 


and town the Jews, and the Jews alone, kept themselves aloof / 

from the neighbouring population by means of their constitu- 
tional position and civic demeanour. Only, this very unique- 
ness of character was taken to be a defect in public spirit 
and patriotism, as well as an insult and a disgrace, from 
Apollonius Molon and Posidonius down to Pliny, Tacitus, 
and later authors,’ although one or two of the more intelli- 
gent writers did not miss the “ philosophic” character of the 

Disengaging itself from this Jewish people, Christianity now 
encountered the Greeks and Romans. In the case of Christians, 
some of the sources of offence peculiar to the Jews were absent ; 
but the greatest_offence of all appeared only in heightened 
colours, viz., the ἀθεότης and the ἀμιξία (μισανθρωπία). Con- 
sequently the Christian religion was described as a “superstitio 
nova et malefica” (Suet., Nero, 16), as a “superstitio prava, 
immodica” (Plin., Ep. x. 96, 97), as an “ exitiabilis superstitio ” 
(Tacit., Annal., xv. 44), and as a “ vana et demens superstitio” 
(Min. Felix, 9), while the Christians themselves were characterized 

1 Yet, cp. Zpist. Aristeas, § 16 (ed. Wendland, 1900, p. 6): τὸν πάντων ἐπόπτην 

καὶ κτίστην θεὸν οὗτοι σέβονται, dv Kal πάντες, ἡμεῖς δὲ προσονομάζοντες ἑτέρως 
Ζῆνα καὶ Δία. 

2 In Egypt a clear-cut triple division obtained—Egyptians, Greeks, and Jews. 
Cp. Schiirer, III."), p, 23 [Eng. trans., 11. ii. 231]. 

3 Apollonius Molon in Joseph., Afzon., II. 15, ‘‘The most stupid of the 
barbarians, ἄθεοι, μισάνθρωποι᾽" ; Seneca (in August., de Czvzt., vi. 11), ‘‘ scelera- 
tissima gens” ; Tacitus (27252., v. 8), ‘‘ despectissima pars servientium—taeterrima 
gens”; Pliny (/oc. czt.), Marcus Aurelius (in Amman, xxii. 5), and Cacilius (in 
Min, Felix, x.), ‘‘Judaeorum misera gentilitas.” 

* Aristotle (according to Clearchus), φιλόσοφοι παρὰ Σύροις ; Theophrastus 
(according to Porphyry), ἅτε φιλόσοφοι τὸ γένος ὄντες ; Strabo (xvi. 2. 35, pp. 
760 f.) ; and Varro (in August., de Czvit., iv. 31). 


as “per flagitia invisi,” and blamed for their “odium generis 
humani.” ! . 

Several sensible people during the course of the second century 
certainly took a different view. Lucian saw in Christians half 
crazy, credulous fanatics, yet he could not altogether refuse them 
his respect. Galen explained their course of life as philosophic, 
and spoke of them in terms of high esteem.? Porphyry also 
treated them, and especially their theologians, the gnostics and 
Origen, as respectable opponents.’ But the vast majority of 
authors persisted in regarding them as an utter abomination. 
“ Latebrosa et lucifuga natio,” cries the pagan Cecilius (in 
Minut. Felix, viii. f.), “in publicum muta, in angulis garrula ; 
templa ut busta despiciunt, deos despuunt, rident sacra... . 
occultis se notis et insignibus noscunt et amant mutuo paene 
antequam noverint . . . . cur nullas aras habent, templa nulla, 
nulla nota simulacra .... nisi illud quod colunt et inter- 
primunt, aut puniendum est aut pudendum? unde autem vel 
quis ille aut ubi deus unicus, solitarius, destitutus, quem non 

1 Tacitus (oc, cét.); cp. Tertull., Afo/., xxxv., ‘‘publici hostes”; xxxvii., 
‘‘hostes maluistis vocare generis humani Christianos ” (you prefer to call Christians 
the enemies of the human race); A/znuc., x., ‘‘ pravae religionis obscuritas ” ; viil., 
‘‘homines deploratae, inlicitae ac desperatae factionis” (reprobate characters, 
belonging to an unlawful and desperate faction) ; ‘‘ plebs profanae coniurationis” ; 
ix., ‘‘sacraria taeterrima impiae citionis” (abominable shrines of an impious 
assembly); ‘‘eruenda et execranda consensio” (a confederacy to be rooted out 
and detested), 

? The passage is extant only in the Arabic (see above, p. 212). 

* Of the historical basis of the Christian religion and its sacred books in the 
New Testament, Porphyry and the Neoplatonists in general formed no more 
favourable opinion than did Celsus, while even in the Old Testament they found 
(agreeing thus far with the Christian gnostics) a great deal of folly and falsehood. 
The fact is, no one, not even Celsus, criticised the gospel history so keenly and 
disparagingly as Porphyry. Still, much that was to be found in the books of 
Moses and in John appeared to them of value, Further, they had a great respect 
for the Christian philosophy of religion, and endeavoured in all seriousness to 
come to terms with it, recognizing that it approximated more nearly than that of 
the gnostics to their own position. The depreciatory estimate of the world and 
the dualism which they found in gnosticism seemed to them a frivolous attack 
upon the Godhead. er contra Porphyry says of Origen: ‘‘ His outward 
conduct was that of a Christian and unlawful. But he thought like a Greek in his 
views of matter and of God, and mingled the ideas of the Greeks with foreign 
fables” (in Eus., H.Z., vi. 19). On the attitude of Plotinus towards the gnosis 
of the church and gnosticism, cp. Karl Schmidt in Zexte u. Uniers., N.F. v., 

part 4. 



gens libera, non regna, non saltem Romana superstitio noverunt ? 
Judaeorum sola et misera gentilitas unum et ipsi deum, sed 
palam, sed templis, aris, victimis caeremoniisque coluerunt, cuius 
adeo nulla vis ac potestas est, ut sit Romanis numinibus cum 
sua sibi natione captivus. At iam Christiani quanta monstra, 
quae portenta confingunt.”! What people saw—what Cecilius 
saw before him—was a descending series, with regard to the 
numina and cultus: first Romans, then Jews, then Christians. 
So monstrous, so repugnant are those Christians (of whose 
faith and life Czecilius proceeds to tell the most evil tales), that 
they drop out of ordinary humanity, as it were. Thus Cexcilius 
indeed calls them a “natio,” but he knows that they are re- 
cruited from the very dregs of the nations, and consequently 
are no “people” in the sense of a “nation.” The Christian 
Octavius has to defend them against this charge of being a 
non-human phenomenon, and Tertullian goes into still further 
details in his Apology and in his address ad Nationes. In both 
of these writings the leading idea is the refutation of the charge 
brought against Christianity, of being something exceptional 
and utterly inhuman. “ Alia nos opinor, natura, Cyropennz 
[Cynopae ?] aut Sciapodes,” we read in Apol., viii., “alii ordines 
dentium, alii ad incestam libidinem nervi? .... homo est 
enim et Christianus et quod et tu” (“ We are of a different 
nature, I suppose! Are we Cyropennz or Sciapodes? Have 
we different teeth, different organs for incestuous lust? ... . 
Nay, a Christian too is a man, he is whatever you are.” In 
Apol., xvi., Tertullian is obliged to refute wicked lies told about 
Christians which, if true, would make Christians out to be quite 

1 “ A people who skulk and shun the light of day, silent in public but talkative in 
holes and corners, They despise the temples as dead-houses, they scorn the 
gods, they mock sacred things. ... they recognize each other by means of 
secret tokens and marks, and love each other almost before they are acquainted. 
Why have they no altars, no temples, no recognized images . . . . unless what 
they worship and conceal deserves punishment or is something to be ashamed of ? 
Moreover, whence is he, who is he, where is he, that one God, solitary and for- 
saken, whom no free people, no realm, not even a Roman superstition, has ever 
known? The lonely and wretched race of the Jews worshipped one God by 
themselves, but they did it openly, with temples, altars, victims, and ceremonies, 
and he has so little strength and power that he and all his nation are in bondage 
to the deities of Rome! But the Christians! What marvels, what monsters, do 
they feign !” 


an exceptional class of human beings. Whereas, in reality, 
*‘Christiani homines sunt vobiscum degentes, eiusdem victus, 
habitus, instructus, eiusdem ad vitam necessitatis. neque enim 
Brachmanae aut Indorum gymnosophistae sumus, silvicolae et 
exules vitae . . . . si caeremonias tuas non frequento, attamen 
et illa die homo sum” (Apol. xlii.: “Christian men live beside 
you, share your food, your dress, your customs, the same 
necessities of life as you do. For we are neither Brahmins nor 
Indian gymnosophists, inhabiting the woods, and exiles from 
existence. If I do not attend your religious ceremonies, none 
the less am I a human being on the sacred day”). Cum 
concutitur imperium, concussis etiam ceteris membris eius utique 
et nos, licet extranet a turbis aestimemur,' in aliquo loco casus 
invenimur” (4 pol,, xxxi.: ‘“‘ When the state is disturbed and all 
its other members affected by the disturbance, surely we also 
are to be found in some spot or another, although we are 
supposed to live aloof from crowds.” It is evident also from the 
nicknames and abusive epithets hurled at them, that Christians 
attracted people’s attention as something entirely strange (ep., 
e.g., Apol. |.). 

In his two books ad Nationes, no less than in the Apology, all 
these arguments also find contemporary expression. Only in 
the former one further consideration supervenes, which deserves 

1 Hence the request. made to Christians is quite intelligible: ‘* Begone from a 
world to which you do not belong, and trouble us not.” Cp. the passage already 
cited from Justin’s Aol, II. iv., where Christians are told by their opponents, 
πάντες ἑαυτοὺς φονεύσαντες πορεύεσθαι ἤδη παρὰ τὸν θεὸν καὶ ἡμῖν πράγματα μὴ 
παρέχετε. Tertullian relates (ad Scag. v.) how Arrius Antoninus, the proconsul 
of Asia, called out to the Christians who crowded voluntarily to his tribunal in a 
time of persecution, ‘‘ You miserable wretches; if you want to die, you have 
precipices and ropes.” Celsus (in Orig., c. Ce/s., VIII. lv.) writes: ‘‘ If Christians 
decline to render due honour to the gods or to respect those appointed to take 
.charge of the religious services, let them not grow up to manhood or marry wives 
or have children or take any part in the affairs of this life, but rather be off with — 
all speed, leaving no posterity behind them, that such a race may become utterly 
extinct on earth.” Hatred of the empire and emperor, and uselessness from the 
economic standpoint—these were standing charges against Christians, charges which 
the apologists (especially Tertullian) were at great pains to controvert. Celsus 
tries to show Christians that they were really trying to cut off the branch on which 
they sat (VIII. Ixviii.): ‘‘ Were all to act as you do, the emperor would soon be 
left solitary and forlorn, and affairs would presently fall into the hands of the 
wildest and most lawless barbarians. Then it would be all over with the glory of 

aan od 


special attention, namely, the assertion of Tertullian that 
Christians were called “genus tertium™ (the Third race) by 
their opponents. ‘The relevant passages are as follows :— 

Ad Nat., I. viii: “Plane, tertiwm genus dicimur. An 
Cyropennae aliqui vel Sciapodes vel aliqui de subterraneo 
Antipodes? Si qua istic apud vos saltem ratio est, edatis velim 
primum et secundum genus, ut ita de tertio constet. Psamme- 
tichus quidem putavit sibi se de ingenio exploravisse prima 
generis. dicitur enim infantes recenti e partu seorsum a 
commercio hominum alendos tradidisse nutrici, quam et ipsam 
propterea elinguaverat, ut in totum exules vocis humanae non 
auditu formarent loquellam, sed de suo promentes eam primam 
nationem designarent cuius sonum natura dictasset. Prima vox 
‘beccos’ renuntiata est ; interpretatio eius ‘ panis’ apud Phrygas 
nomen est; Phryges primum genus exinde habentur... . 
sint nunc primi Phryges, non tamen tertii Christiani. Quantae 
enim aliae gentium series post Phrygas? verum recogitate, ne 
quos tertiwm genus dicitis principem locum obtineant, siquidem 
non ulla gens non Christiana. itaque quaecunque gens prima, 
nihilominus Christiana. ridicula dementia novissimos diciti et 
tertios nominatis. sed de superstitione tertium genus deputamur, 
non de natione, ut sint Romani, Judaei, dehince Christiani. τὶ 
autem Graeci? vel si in Romanorum suberstitionibus censentur, 
quoniam quidem etiam deos Graeciae Roma sollicitavit, ubi 

_ your worship and the true wisdom among men.” As the Christians were almost 

alone among religionists in being liable to this charge of enmity to the empire, 
they were held responsible by the populace, as everybody knows, for any great 
calamities that occurred. The passages in Tertullian bearing on this point are 
quite familiar ; but one should also compare the parallel statements in Origen (272 
Matt, Comment Ser., xxxix.). Henceforth Christians appear a special group by 
themselves. Maximinus Daza, in his rescript to Sabinus (Eus., 4. Z., ix. 9), 
speaks of the ἔθνος τῶν Χριστιανῶν (the nation of the Christians), and the edict of 
Galerius reluctantly admits that Christians succeeded in combining the various 
nations into a relative unity by means of their commandments (Eus., 7. £., viii. 
17. 7): τοσαύτη αὐτοὺς πλεονεξία παρεσχήκει καὶ ἄνοια κατειλήφει, ὧς μὴ ἕπεσθαι 
τοῖς ὑπὸ τῶν πάλαι καταδειχθεῖσιν . . .. ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὴν αὐτῶν πρόθεσιν καὶ ὡς 
ἕκαστος ἐβούλετο, οὕτως ἑαυτοῖς καὶ νόμους ποιῆσαι καὶ τούτους παραφυλάττειν καὶ 
ἐν διαφόροις διάφορα πλήθη συνάγειν (*‘ Such arrogance had seized them and such 
senselessness had mastered them, that instead of following the institutions of their 
ancestors .. . . they framed laws for themselves according to their own purpose, 
as each desired, and observed these laws, and thus held various gatherings in 
various places ’’). 


saltem Algyptii, et ipsi, quod sciam, privatae curiosaeque re- 
ligionis ἢ porro si tam monstruosi, qua tertii loci, quales habendi, 
qui primo et secundo antecedunt?” (“-We are indeed called the 
third race of men! Are we monsters, Cyropennee, or Sciopades, 
or some Antipodeans from the underworld? If these have any 
meaning for you, pray explain the first and second of the races, 
that we may thus learn the ‘third. Psammetichus thought he 
had ingeniously hit upon primeval man. He removed, it is 
said, some newly born infants from all human intercourse and 
entrusted their upbringing to a nurse whom he had deprived of 
her tongue, in order that being exiled entirely from the sound 
of the human voice, they might form their words without 
hearing it, and derive them from their own nature, thus indi- 
cating what was the first nation whose language was originally 
dictated by nature. ‘The first word they uttered was ‘beccos,’ 
the Phrygian word for bread. ‘The Phrygians, then, are held 
to be the first race... .. If, then, the Phrygians are the first 
race, still it does not follow that: the Christians are the third. 
For how many other races successively came after the Phrygians ? 
But take heed lest those whom you call the third race take first 
place, since there is no nation which is not Christian. What- 
ever nation, therefore, is the first, is nevertheless Christian now. 
It is senseless absurdity for you to call us the latest of nations 
and then to dub us the Third. But, you say, at is on the score 
of religion and not of nationality that we are considered to be 
third; it is the Romans first, then the Jews, and after that the 
Christians. What about the Greeks then? Or supposing that 
they are reckoned among the various Roman religions (since it 
was from Greece that Rome borrowed even her deities), where do 
the Egyptians at any rate come in, since they possess a religion 
which, so far as I know, is all their own, and full of secrecy? 
Besides, if those who occupy the third rank are such monsters, 
what must we think of those who precede them m the first and 
second ?”), 

Further, in ad Nat., I. xx. (after showing that the charges 
brought against Christians recoil upon their adversaries the 
heathen), Tertullian proceeds: “ Habetis et vos tertiwm genus 
etsi non de tertio ritu, attamen de tertio sexu. Illud aptius de 



viro et femina viris et feminis iunctum”™ (“‘ You too have your 
‘third race’ [2.e., of eunuchs], though it is not in the way of a 
third religion, but of a third sex. Made up of male and female in 
conjunction, it is better suited to pander to men and women !”) 

Add also a passage from the treatise Scorpiace (x.: a word to 
heretics who shunned martyrdom): “ TIllic constitues et syna- 
gogas Judaeorum fontes persecutionum, apud quas apostoli 
flagella perpessi sunt, et populos nationum cum suo quidem 
circo, οὐδὲ facile conclamant : “ Usque quo genus tertium ὃ" (* Will 
you set up there [?.e., in heaven] also synagogues of the Jews— 
which are fountains of persecution—before which the apostles 
suffered scourging, and heathen crowds with their circus, for- 
sooth, where all are ready to shout, ‘ How long are we to endure 
this third race ?””). 

From these passages we infer :— 

i. That “the third race” (genus tertiwm) as a designation of 
Christians on the lips of the heathen was perfectly common in 
Carthage about the year 200. Even in the circus people cried, 
*¢ Usque quo genus tertium ?” 

ii. That this designation referred exclusively to the Christian 
method of conceiving and worshipping God. The Greeks, 
Romans, and all other nations passed for the first race (genus 
primum), in so far as they mutually recognized each other’s gods 
or honoured foreign gods as well as their own, and had sacrifices 
and images. The Jews (with their national God, their ex- 
clusiveness, and a worship which lacked images but included 
sacrifice)! constituted the second race (genus alterum). The 
Christians, again (with their spiritual God, their lack of images 
and sacrifices, and the contempt for the gods—contemnere deos— 
which they shared with the Jews”), formed the Third race 
(genus tertiwm). 

iii. When Tertullian talks as if the whole system of classifica- 

1 Cp. ad Nat., I. viii. 
2 Cp. what is roundly asserted in ad Naz., I. viii. : ‘‘It is on the score of 

religion and not of nationality that we are considered to be third ; it is the Romans 

first, then the Jews, and after that the Christians.” Also, 1, xx.: ‘‘Tertium 
genus [dicimur] de ritu” (‘‘ We are called a third race on the ground of religion ”). 
It seems to me utterly impossible to suppose that Tertullian might have been 
mistaken in this interpretation of the title in question. 

VOL. I, 18 


tion could denote the chronological series of the nations, it is 
merely a bit of controversial dialectic. Nor has the designation 
of “the Third race” (genus tertiwm) anything whatever to do 
either with the virginity of Christians, or, on the other hand, 
with the sexual debaucheries set down to their credit. 

All these results? were of vital importance to the impression 
made by Christianity (and Judaism*) upon the pagan world. 
As early as the opening of the second century Christians desig- 
nate their religion as “the third method” of religion (ep. the 

1 Passages may indeed be pointed out in which either virginity (or unsexual 

character) or unnatural lust is conceived as ‘‘ genus tertium” (a third race), or as 
a race (genus) in general (Tertull., de Virg. Vel., vii. : ‘‘ Si caput mulieris vir est, 
ubique et virginis, de qua fit mulier illa quae nupsit, nisi si virgo /ertium genus est 
monstrosum aliquod sui capitis.” ‘‘ If the man is the head of the woman, he is also 
the head of the virgin, for out of a virgin comes the woman who marries ; unless 
she is some monstrosity with a head of its own, a third race”). Cp. op cit., v., 
where the female sex is ‘‘ genus secundi hominis” ; pseudo-Cypr., de Pudic., vii., 
‘*Virginitas neutrius est sexus”; and Clem. Alex., Paedag., II. x. 85, οὐδὲ γὰρ 
αἰδοῖα ἔχει ἡ ὕαινα ἅμα ἄμφω, ἄρρενος καὶ θήλεος, καθὼς ὑπείληφασί tives, Epuappo- 
δίτους τερατολοῦντες καὶ τρίτην ταύτην μεταξὺ θηλείας καὶ ἄρρενος ἀνδρόγυνον 
καινοτομοῦντες φύσιν [a similar sexual analogy]. Cp., on the other hand, of, céz., 
I, iv. 11, where there is a third condition common to both sexes, viz., that of being 
human beings and also children ; also Lampridius, 4/ex, Sever., xxiii, : “‘ Idem 
tertium genus hominum eunuchos dicebat”’ (‘‘ He said eunuchs were a third race 
of mankind”). Obviously, however, such passages are irrelevant to the point 
now under discussion. 
. 2 It is remarkable that Tertullian is only aware of the title ‘‘ tertium genus” as 
- a pagan description of Christians, and not as one also applied by Christians to 
themselves. But despite his silence on the fact that Christians also designated 
their religion as ‘‘the third kind” of religion, we must nevertheless assume that 
the term rose as spontaneously to the lips of Christians as of their opponents, since 
it is unlikely, though not impossible, that the latter borrowed it from Christian 
literature. (Consequently Fronto, in his lost treatise against the Christians, must 
have made polemical use of the title ‘‘ genus tertium ” which he found in Christian 
writings, and by this means the term passed out into wider currency among the 
heathen. Yet in Minucius Felix it does not occur.) To recall the chronological 
succession of its occurrences once again: at the opening of the second century one 
Christian writer (the author of the Preaching of Peter) calls the Christian religion 
‘*the third kind” of religion ; in the year 197, Tertullian declares, “‘ Tertium genus 
dicimur” (‘‘ We are called the third race’’); while in 242-243 A.D. a Roman or 
African Christian (pseudo-Cyprian) writes, ‘‘ Tertium genus sams” (‘‘ We are the 
third race’), 

3 T add, Judaism—for hitherto in our discussion we could not determine with 
absolute certainty whether any formz/a was current which distinguished the Jews 
from all other peoples with regard to their conception and worship of God. Now 
it is perfectly plain. The Jews ranked in this connection as an independent 
magnitude, a ‘‘ genus alterum.” 


evidence above furnished by the Preaching of Peter), and frankly 

declare, about the year 240 a.p., “We are the third race of 

mankind ” (cp. the evidence of the treatise de Pascha Computus).! 
ich proves that the pagans did borrow this conception, and 
that (even previously to 200 a.p.)? they described the Jews as 
the second and the Christians as the third race of men. This 
they did for the same reason as the Christians, on account of 
the nature of the religion in question. 
It is indeed amazing! One had certainly no idea that in the 

- consciousness of the Greeks and Romans the Jews stood out in 

such bold relief from the other nations, and the Christians from 
both, or that they represented themselves as independent 
*‘ genera,” and were so described in an explicit formula. Neither 
Jews nor Christians could look for any ample recognition,® little 
as the demarcation was intended as a recognition at all. 

The polemical treatises against Christians prove that the triple 
formula “ Romans, etc., Jews, and Christians” was really never 
absent from the minds of their opponents. So far as we are 

1 It is now clear that we were right in conjecturing above that the Romans 
were to pseudo-Cyprian the first race, and the Jews the second, as opposed to the 
Third race. 

5 How long before we do not know. By the end of the second century, at any 
rate, the title was quite common. It is therefore hardly possible to argue against 
the authenticity of Hadrian’s epistle to Servianus (see above) on the ground that 
it contains this triple division: ‘‘ func [nummum] C&réstianz, hunc Judaei, hunc 
omnes venerantur δή gentes” (‘‘ This pelf is revered by the Christians, the Jews, 
and the nations”), But the description of Romans, Greeks, etc., as ‘‘ gentes” is 
certainly very suspicious ; it betrays, unless I am mistaken, the pen of a Christian 

8 Thanks to Varro, who had a genius for classification, people had been accus- 
tomed among literary circles, in the first instance, to grade the gods and religions 
as well, Perhaps it was under the influence of his writings (and even Tertullian 
makes great play with them in his treatise ad Wationes) that the distinction of Jews 
and Christians as ‘‘the second and third ways” obtained primarily among the 

_ learned, and thence made its way gradually into the minds of the common people. 

It is utterly improbable that this new classification was influenced ‘by the entirely 
different distinction current among the Egyptians (see above), of the three γένη 
(Egyptians, Greeks, and Jews). Once it was devised, the former conception 
must have gone on working with a logic of its own, setting Judaism and 
Christianity in a light which was certainly not intended at the outset. It 
developed the conception of three circles, of three possible religions! Strangely 
enough, Tertullian never mentions the ‘‘ genus tertium ” in his AZo/ogy, though it 
was contemporaneous with the ad Nationes. Was the fact not of sufficient 
importance to him in encountering a Roman governor? 


acquainted with these treatises, they one and all adopt this 

scheme of thought: the Jews originally parted company with all 
other nations, and after leaving the Egyptians, they formed an 
ill-favoured species by themselves, whilst it is from these very 
Jews that the Christians have now broken off, retaining all the 
worst features of Judaism and adding loathsome and repulsive 
elements of their own. Such was the line taken by Celsus, 
Porphyry, and Julian in their anti-Christian writings. Celsus 
speaks of the γένος of the Jews, and opposes both γένη in the 
sharpest manner to all other nations, in order to show that when 
Christians, as renegade Jews, distinguish themselves from this 
γένος---ὃ γένος which is, at least, a people—they do so to their 
own loss. He characterizes Christians (VIII. ii.) as ἀποτειχίζοντες 
ἑαυτοὺς Kal ἀπορρηγνύντες ἀπὸ τῶν λοιπῶν ἀνθρώπων (“ people 
who separate themselves and break away from the rest of man- 
kind”). For all that, everything in Christianity is simply 
plagiarized from a plagiarism, or copied from a copy. Christians 
per se have no new teaching (μάθημα; I. iv.; ep. IL. v. and IV. 
xiv.). That they have any teaching at all to present, is simply 
due to the fact that they have kept back the worst thing of all, 
viz., their στασιάζειν πρὸς τὸ κοινόν (“their revolt against the 
common weal”).'  Porphyry— who, I imagine, is the anti- 
Christian controversialist before the mind of Eusebius ?—in his 
Preparatio, i. 2, begins by treating Christians as a sheer im- 
possibility, inasmuch as they will not and do not belong to the 
Greeks or to the barbarians. ‘Then he goes on to say: καὶ μηδ᾽ 
αὐτῷ τῷ Tapa ᾿Ἰουδαίοις τιμουμένῳ θεῷ κατὰ τὰ παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς 
προσανέχειν νόμιμα, καινὴν δὲ τινα καὶ ἐρήμην ἀνοδίαν ἑαυτοῖς 
συντεμενῖ μήτε τὰ ᾿λλήνων μήτε τὰ ᾿Ιουδαίων φυλάττουσαν 
(‘‘ Nor do they adhere to the rites of the God worshipped by the 
Jews according to their customs, but fashion some new and 
solitary vagary for themselves of which there is no trace in 
Hellenism or Judaism”). So that he also gives the triple 
classification. Finally, Julian (Neumann, p. 164) likewise 

1 The τρίτον γένος which Celsus mentions rather obscurely in V. Ixi. has 
nothing to do with the third race which is our present topic. It refers to 
distinctions within Christianity itself. 

2 Cp. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf in the Zeztschrift ftir neutestamentliche 
Wissenschaft, i. 2, pp. 101 f. 


follows the division of “Ἕλληνες, Ἰουδαῖοι, and Τ'αλιλαῖοι. The 
_ Galileans are neither Greeks nor Jews ; they have come from the 

Jews, but have separated from them and struck out a path of 

_theirown. “'They have repudiated every noble and significant 

idea current among us Greeks, and among the Hebrews who are | 

_ descended from Moses; yet they have lifted from both sources 

everything that adhered to these nations like\ an ill-omened 
demon, taking their godlessness from the levity of the Jews, and 
their careless and lax way of living from our own thoughtless- 
ness and vulgarity.” 

Plainly, then, Greek and Jews and Christians were distinguished 
throughout upon the ground of religion, although the explicit 
formula of “the third race” occurs only in the West. After 
the middle of the third century, both empire and emperor learnt 
to recognize and dread the third race of worshippers as a “ nation,” 
as well as a race. They were a state within the state. The most 
instructive piece of evidence in this connection is the account of 
Decius given by Cyprian (Ep. lv. 9): “ Multo patientius et 
tolerabilius audivit levari adversus se aemulum principem quam 
constitui Romae dei sacerdotem” (“ He would hear of a rival 
prince being set up against himself with far more patience and 
equanimity than of a priest of God being appointed at Rome”). 
The terrible edict issued by this emperor for the persecution of 
Christians is in the first instance the practical answer given by 
the state to the claims of the ‘“‘ New People” and to the political 
view advocated by Melito and Origen. ‘The inner energy of the 
new religion comes out in its self-chosen title of “the New 
People” or “the Third race” just as plainly as in the testimony 
extorted from its opponents, that in Christianity a new genus 
of religion had actually emerged side by side with the religions 
of the nations and of Judaism. It does not afford much direct 
evidence upon the outward spread and strength of Christianity, 
for the former estimate emerged, asserted itself, and was recog- 
nized at an early period, when Christians were still, in point of 
numbers, ἃ comparatively small society.1_ But it must have been 

1 They could not have been utterly insignificant, however; otherwise this 
estimate would be incredible. In point of numbers they must have already 
tivalled the Jews at any rate. 


of the highest importance for the propaganda of the Christian 
religion, to be so distinctly differentiated from all other religions 
and to have so lofty a consciousness of its own position put before 
the world. Naturally this had a repelling influence as well on 
certain circles. Still it was a token of power, and power never 
fails to succeed. 

1 Judaism already owed no small amount of her propaganda to her apologetic 

and, within her apologetic, to the valuation of herself which it developed. Cp. 
Schiirer, Gesch. des Volkes Israel, I11.), pp. 107 f. [Eng. trans., II. iii. 249 f.]. 


Curistianiry, unlike Islam, never was and never became the 
religion of a book in the strict sense of the term (not until a 
much later period, that of rigid Calvinism, did the consequences 
of its presentation as the religion of a book become really 
dangerous, and even then the rule of faith remained at the helm). 
Still, the book of Christianity—.e., in the first instance, the 
Old 'Testament—did exert an influence which brought it to the 
verge of becoming the religion of a book. Paul, of course, when 
we read him aright, was opposed to this development, and_wide 
ee eghout Christordom. both, the gnostics and the 
Marcionites—even went the length of entirely repudiating the 
Old ‘Testament or of ascribing it to another god altogether, 
though he too was righteous and dependent on the most high 
~God.t But in the catholic church this gnostic criticism was 
indignantly rejected, whilst the complicated position adopted 
by the apostle Paul towards the _ book was not understood at all. 
The Old Testament, interpreted allegorically, continued to be 
the sacred book for these Christians, as it was for the Jews, from 
whom they aimed to wrest it. 

This attitude to the Old Testament is quite intelligible. 
What other religious society could produce a book like it ?2 
How overpowering and lasting must have been the impression 
made by it on Greeks, educated and uneducated alike, once they 
- 1 Cp., for example, the letter of Ptolemzeus to Flora, with my study of it in the 
Sttzungsberichte αἰ, Α΄, Pr. Akad. d, Wiss., May 15, 1902. 

2 It had this double advantage, that it was accessible in Greek, and also that 
the Hebrew original was familiar. On the Septuagint, see the studies by Nestle 

and Deissmann, besides the epistle of Aristeas (ed. Wendland, 1900). 

: χ- 


learnt to understand it! Many details might be strange or 
obnoxious, but the instruction and inspiration of its pages 
amply made up for that. Its great antiquity—stretching in 
some parts, as men held, to thousands of years '—was already 
proof positive of its imperishable value; its contents seemed 
in part a world of mysteries and in part a compendium of the 
profoundest wisdom. By its inexhaustible wealth, by its variety, 
comprehensiveness, and extensive character, it seemed like a 
literary cosmos, a second creation which was the twin of the 
first.2 This indeed was the deepest impression which it made. 
The opinion most widely held by Greeks who came in contact 
with the Old Testament was that this was a book which was to 
be coupled with the universe, and that a similar verdict could 
be passed upon both of them. Variously as they might still 
interpret it, the fact of its being a parallel creation to the 
world, equally great and equally comprehensive, and of both 
issuing from a single author, appeared indubitable even to the 
gnostics and the Marcionites, whilst the members of the catholic 
church recognized in this divine author the most high God 
himself!* In the entire history of human thought, when did 
any other book earn such an opinion ? 4 

The Old Testament certainly was an enormous help to the 
Christian propaganda, and it was in vain that the Jews protested.° 

1 In his treatise de Pad/io Tertullian exclaims triumphantly, ‘‘ Your history only 
reaches back to the Assyrians ; we are in possession of the history of the whole 
world ” (‘* Ferme apud vos ultra stilus non solet. ab Assyriis, si forte, aevi historiae 
patescunt. qui vero divinas lectitamus, ab ipsius mundi natalibus compotes sumus ”). 

2 Hence the numerous names for the book, partly due to its origin, partly to 
its contents (σωτήρια γράμματα). 

3 Certain gnostics distinguished the god of creation and the god of the Old 
Testament. This distinction prevailed wherever nature was depreciated in 
comparison with the religious attainments of the pre-Christian era. Nature is fierce 

eand fatal; the law is, relatively speaking, moral. 

4 Attacks by gnostics and pagans were not awanting, but the latter must have 
seldom assailed it on the whole. When they busied themselves seriously with 
the book, they almost invariably respected it, ‘‘ Unde scis illos libros (veteri 
Testamenti) unius veri et veracissimi dei spiritu esse humano generi ministratos ? ” 
(Aug., Confess., vi. 5, 7. : ‘‘ Whence knowest thou that these books have been 
imparted to mankind by the spirit of the one true and most truthful God ?”)—this is 
a Manichzean or gnostic objection. 

ὅ Their right to the book was simply denied; their misinterpretation of it 
proved that it was no longer theirs ; the opinion was even current (cp, Barnabas 


We have one positive testimony, in the following passage 
from Tatian (Orat. xxix.), that for many people the Old 
Testament formed the real bridge by which they crossed to 
Christianity. ‘“ When I was paying earnest heed to what was 
profitable,” he writes, “some barbarian writings came into my 
hands which were too old for Greek ideas and too divine for 
Greek errors. These I was led to trust, owing to their very 
simplicity of expression and the unstudied character of their 
authors, owing to their intelligible description of creation, their 
foreknowledge of the future, the excellence of their precepts, 
and the fact of their embracing the universe under the sole rule 
of God. Thus was my soul instructed by God, and I understood 
how other teachings lead to condemnation, whilst these writings 
abolish the bondage that prevails throughout the world and free 
us from a plurality of rulers and tyrants innumerable. They 
furnish us, not with something which we had not already 
received, but with something which had been received but 
which, thanks to error, had been lost.”! 

This confession is particularly noticeable, not merely on 
account of the explicit manner in which it brings out the 
significance of the Old Testament for the transition to Chris- 
tianity, but also for its complete and clear statement of the 

epist.) that it never had been theirs, and that they had appropriated it unfairly, 
‘In Judaeorum oleastro insiti sumus,” says Tertullian (de 7estim., v., after Rom. 
xi.) ; but the oleaster had thereby lost its very right to exist. 

1 Cp. also Justin, Dial. c. 7ryph., vii. f. : ᾿Ἐγένοντό tives πρὸ πολλοῦ χρόνον 
πάντων τούτων τῶν νομιζομένων φιλοσόφων παλαιότεροι, μακάριοι καὶ δίκαιοι καὶ 
θεοφιλεῖς, θείῳ πνεύματι λαλήσαντες καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα θεσπίσαντες, ἃ δὴ νῦν 
γίνεται ᾿ προφήτας δὲ αὐτοὺς καλοῦσιν ᾿ οὗτοι μόνοι τὸ ἀληθὲς καὶ εἶδον καὶ ἐξεῖπον 
ἀνθρώποις, μήτ᾽ εὐλαβηθέντες μήτε δυσωπηθέντες τινά. .. . ἀλλὰ μόνα ταῦτα 
εἰπόντες ἃ ἤκουσαν καὶ ἃ εἶδον ἁγίῳ πληρωθέντες πνεύματι συγγράμματα δὲ 
αὐτῶν ἔτι καὶ νῦν διαμένει, κιτ.λ. » » » + Ἐμοῦ δὲ παραχρῆμα πῦρ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ 
ἀνήφθη καὶ ἔρως εἶχε με τῶν προφητῶν καὶ τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων, οἵ εἰσι Χριστοῦ 
φίλοι (‘Long ago there were certain men, more ancient than all those who 
are esteemed philosophers, men blessed and righteous and beloved of God, who 
spoke by the spirit of God, and foretold what would come to pass, even what is 
now coming to pass. Their name is that of prophets. They alone saw the truth 

and proclaimed it to men, neither reverencing nor dreading any man... . but 
only saying what they saw and heard, being filled with the holy spirit. Writings 
of theirs are still extant..... A fire was at once kindled in my soul, and I 

was seized with a passion for the prophets and for those who are the friends of 
Christ ”), 

"ἊΝ Ἢ l 


reasons for this influence. In the first place, the form of this 
book made a deep impression, and it is characteristic of Tatian 
the Greek, though he would remain a Greek no longer, that its 
form is the first point which he singles out. The vigorous style 
of the prophets and psalmists captivated the man who had 
passed through the schools of rhetoric and philosophy. Vigour 
coupled with simplicity—this was what made the book seem to 
him so utterly different from those treatises and unwieldy tomes 
in which their authors made desperate efforts to attain clearness 
of thought upon questions of supreme moment. ‘The second 
item mentioned by the apologist is the narrative of creation in 
Genesis. This also is significant and quite intelligible. Every 
Greek philosopher had his cosmology, and here was a narrative 
of creation that was both lucid and comprehensible. It did not 
look like a philosophy, nor did it look like an ordinary myth; 
it was an entirely new genre, something between and above them 

both. It can only have been inspired by God himself! The 

third feature which struck Tatian was the prophecies of the 

book. A glance at the early Christian writers, and especially 

. ἕξ the apologists, reveals the prominent and indeed the com- 

manding role played by the argument from prophecy, and this 
argument could only be led by means of the Old Testament. 
The fourth item was the moral code. Here Tatian was cer- 

_ tainly thinking in the first instance of the decalogue, which even 

the gnostics, for all their critical attitude towards the book as a 
whole, considered only to require completion, and which was 
therefore distinguished by them from the rest of the Old Testa- 
ment.! To Gentile Christians the decalogue invariably meant 
the sum of morals, which only the sayings of the Sermon on the 
‘Mount could render more profound.? Finally, the fifth item 
mentioned by the apologist is the rigid monotheism which 
stamps the whole volume. 

This list really includes all the elements in the Old Testa- 
ment which seemed of special weight and marked its origin as 
divine. But in a survey of the services rendered by it to the 
Christian church throughout the first two centuries, the follow- 
ing points stand out clearly. 

1 Cp. the epistle of Ptolemzeus to Flora. 2 Cp, the Didaché. 


1. Christians borrowed from the Old Testament its mono- 
_— theistic cosmology and view of nature. Though the gospels and 
epistles presuppose this, they do not expressly state it, and in 
the Old Testament books people found exactly what they 
required, viz., in the first place, innumerable passages proclaim- 
ing and inculcating monotheism, and also challenging polytheism, 
and in the second place many passages which extolled God as 
the creator of heaven and earth and depicted his creation. . 

2. From the Old Testament it could be proved that the * 
appearance and the entire history of Jesus had been predicted 
hundreds and even thousands of years ago; and further, that 
the founding of the New People which was to be fashioned out 
of all nations upon earth,' had from the very beginning been 
prophesied and prepared for (cp. pp. 240 f.). 

Their own religion appeared, on the basis of this book, to be 
the religion of a history which was the fulfilment of prophecy ; 
what remained still in the future could only be a brief space of 
time, and even in its course everything would be fulfilled in 
accordance with what had been prophesied. The certain 

1 The apologists refute the idea that the Jewish proselytes were this new people. 
It was an obvious objection, But Christians alone have adherents ἐκ παντὸς γένους 

“3. Τὸ οἷΐε but a single passage, compare the Preaching of Peter (Clem. Alex., 
Strom., V1. xv.): Ἡμεῖς ἀναπτύξαντες τὰς βίβλους ἅς εἴχομεν τῶν προφητῶν, ἃ 
μὲν διὰ παραβολῶν, ἃ δὲ δι᾽ αἰνιγμάτων, ἃ δὲ αὐθεντικῶς καὶ αὐτολεξεὶ τὸν Χριστὸν 
Ἰησοῦν ὀνομαζόντων, εὕρομεν καὶ τὴν παρουσίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸν θάνατον καὶ τὸν σταυρὸν 
καὶ τὰς λοιπὰς κολάσεις πάσας, ὅσας ἐποίησαν αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, καὶ τὴν ἔγερσιν 
καὶ τὴν εἰς ovpavdus ἀνάληψιν πρὸ τοῦ Ἱεροσόλυμα κριθῆναι, καθὼς ἐγέγραπτο ταῦτα 
πάντα ἃ ἔδει αὐτὸν παθεῖν καὶ γεγραμμένων εἰς αὐτόν ( “΄ Unrolling the books of the 
prophets in our possession, which name Christ Jesus partly in parables, partly in 
enigmas, and partly in plain expressions and in so many words, we find his advent, 
death, cross, and the other punishments inflicted on him by the Jews, his 
resurrection and his ascension into heaven, previous to the fall of Jerusalem, even 
as it is written, ‘ All these things which he had to suffer, and which shall be after 
him.’ Learning all this, we believed in God by means of what had been written 
about him”). This writer explains, then, that on the ground of the Old Testament 
he came to believe in God the Father of Jesus Christ. Tertull., Afo/., xlvi.: 
**Ostendimus totum statum nostrum, et quibus modis probare possimus ita esse 
Sicut ostendimus, ex fide sctlicet et antiquitate divinarum litterarum, item ex 
confessione spiritualium potestatum” [2.6., the testimony which the demons 
exorcised by us are forced to bear] (‘‘ We have stated all our case, and also shown 
you how we are able to prove it, viz., from the trustworthy character and great age 
of our sacred writings, and likewise from the confession of the powers of spiritual 
evil”). These, then, were the two decisive proofs, 


guarantee for this was afforded by what had already been 
fulfilled. By aid of the Old Testament, Christian teachers 
dated back their religion to the very beginning of things, and 
connected it with the creation. This formed one of the most 
impressive articles of the mission-preaching among educated 
people, and thereby Christianity got a hold which was possessed 
by no religion except Judaism. But one must take good care 
not to imagine that to the minds of these Christians the Old 
Testament was pure prophecy which still lacked its fulfilment. 
The Old Testament was indeed a book of prophecies, but for 
that very reason it had didactic significance as the complete 
revelation of God, which needed no manner of addition what- 
soever, and excluded any subsequent modification. ‘The 
historical fulfilment—* lex radix evangeliorum™ (Tert., Scorp., 
ii.)—of these revelations merely attested their truth in the 
eyes of all the world. Indeed, the whole gospel was thus put 
together from the Old Testament. Handbooks of this kind must 
have been widely circulated in different though similar editions. 

3. Proofs from the Old Testament were increasingly employed 
to justify principles and institutions adopted by the Christian 

' church (not merely imageless, spiritual worship, the abolition 

_ of the ceremonial law and its precepts, with baptism and the 

Lord’s supper, but also—though hesitatingly—the Christian 
priesthood, the episcopate, and the new organizations within 

the cultus). 

4, The book was used for the purpose of exhortation, follow- 
ing the formula of “a minori ad maius.” If God had praised 
or punished this or that in the past, how much more, it was 
argued, are we to look for similar treatment from him, we who 
are now living in the last days and who have received “the 
calling of promise.” 

5. From the Old Testament (i.e., from its prophetic denuncia- 
tions) Christians proved ! that the Jewish people had no covenant 
with God (cp. pp. 66 ἢ). 

1 How impressive was the argument—you see, the Jewish nation is dispersed, 

ἢ “the temple is destroyed, the sacrifices have ceased, the princes of the house of 

» Juda have disappeared ! Compare the extensive use of these facts by Eusebius in 

his Church History, 


§. Christians edified themselves by means of the Old Testa- 
ment and its sayings about trust in God, about God’s aid, about 
humility, and about holy courage, as well as by means of its 
heroic spirits and its prophets, above all, by the psalms. 

What has been summarized in these paragraphs is enough 
to indicate the importance of the Old Testament for primitive 
Christianity and its mission.1_ Be it remembered, however, that 

1 No thorough statement of the significance and employment of the Old 
Testament in the early church is available even at this time of day. In his 
Untersuchungen zum ersten Clemensbrief (1891), Wrede, however, has shown 
how such an essay should be planned and executed. His summary there (p. 75) 
agrees with what I have stated above. ‘‘ Clement’s use of Scripture,” he writes, 
““depends wholly on the presupposition common to all Christians, that the Old 
Testament is the ove holy book given by God to Christians, and to Christians 
directly and expressly ; its words can lay claim to absolute authority, and they 
furnish the primary and most important basis of all Christian παράδοσις (tradition). 
Historically, it would be a totally inadequate account of the real facts of the case 
to declare that the Old Testament in whole or part s¢z// retained its value for 
Christians, as though the recognition of this was the result of some kind of 
reflection. The possession of this wonderful infallible volume was really, in the 
eyes of Christians, one of the most convincing and attractive features of the new 
religion, We simply cannot possess our minds too fully of the view that in those 
days there was not the slightest idea of a second sacred scripture ever rising one 
day to rank with the Old Testament, much less to round off the earlier book.” 
In worship, readings were regularly given from the Old Testament, and further 
acquaintance with it was certainly promoted by means of brief selections and 
writings like the 7es¢zmonza of Cyprian. Private reading of the Bible was also 
practised, as is plain from the Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs, several passages in 
Tertullian and Origen, and other sources. Origen (Hom. II. 2% Num, vol. x. 
p. 19) thinks that from one to two hours of prayer and Bible-reading is barely an 
adequate minimum for the individual Christian; in Hom, z# Zevit., ix. 7, he 
describes ‘‘ divina lectio, orationes assiduae, et sermo doctrinae” as ‘‘ nutrimenta 
spiritus.” In pseudo-Clem., de Virginit., 1. x., the reading of the Bible at small 
devotional gatherings held in private houses is mentioned. Justin assumes, in his 
Apology, that the Old Testament is easily accessible, and that the emperor could 
readily procure a copy. But the description of Pamphilus at Czsarea (Jerome, 
adv, Rufin., 1. ix.) is particularly illuminating: ‘‘ Scripturas sanctas non ad 
legendum tantum, sed et ad habendum tribuebat promptissime, nec solum viris sed 
et feminis quas vidisset lectioni deditas, unde et multos codices praeparabat, ut 
cum necessitas poposcisset, volentibus largiretur” (‘‘ He readily provided Bibles 
not only to read but to keep, not only for men but for any women whom he saw 
addicted to reading. Hence he would prepare a large number of volumes, so that, 
when any demand was made upon him, he might be in a position to gratify those 
who applied to him).” For the diffusion of Scripture knowledge by means of read- 
ing (in small circles or publicly), cp. pseudo-Clem., de Virg., 11. vi. Yet Augustine 
was not alone in his complaint (Conf, vi. 11. 18): ‘‘ Ubi ipsos codices quaerimus ἢ 
Unde aut quomodo comparamus? A quibus sumimus? (‘‘ Where are we to find 

᾿ς : 


my οἱ [ large portion of its contents was allegorized, 1.6... criticised 
“ and re-interpreted. Without this, a great deal of the Old 'Testa- 

‘ ment would have been unacceptable to Christians. | Anyone 

who refused such re-reading of its contents “had to reject the 
book in whole or part.? 

After the rise of the New Testament, which was the most 
important and independent product of the primitive church, and 
which legitimized its faith as a new religion, certain aspects of 


even the books [2.¢., of Scripture]? Where and how can we procure them? 
From whom can we get them ?”), 

1 Like Barnabas before him, Origen has shown with perfect clearness that the 
literal sense is in many cases inadmissible. Compare, for example, Hom. VII. 5 
in Levit. (vol, ix. pp. 306 f.): “Si adsideamus literae, et secundum hoc vel quod 
Judaeis vel id quod vulgo videtur accipiamus, quae in lege scripta sunt, erubesco 
dicere et confiteri, quia tales leges dederit deus. videbuntur enim magis elegantes 
et rationabiles hominum leges, verbi gratia vel Romanorum vel Atheniensium vel 
Lacedaemoniorum, si vero secundum hanc intelligentiam, quam docet ecclesia, 
accipiatur dei lex, tunc plane omnes humanas supereminet leges et veri dei lex esse 
creditur.” It may not be superfluous to recall that any authoritative text, especially 
one which was explained as of divine authority, demanded the allegorical interpreta- 
tion, since those who recognized or maintained its authority usually connected the 
text with ideas which were quite different from the interpretation sanctioned by 
the historical interpretation. Nay more. Authority was desired and devised for 
such ideas themselves, For example, to treat the Song of Solomon as a love-song 
and then to vindicate the authority of its sacred text, is the acme of absurdity ; it 
became an intolerable burden for the church to do so. But the same difficulty 
arose in connection with a book like Genesis. Those who admitted the book to 
the canon had no desire to canonize a wretched Jacob, etc. ; but they were pre- 
pared for all such contingencies, and employed the allegorical method to remove any 
stumbling-blocks. Here, indeed, one may even ask whether the final redactor did 
not smooth over his work with allegorical expositions ; in that event, only the 
sources of the book would need to be explained historically, whereas the book 
itself (apart from its canonization) would invite the allegorical method—the latter 
going back to the age of the book’s final redaction. Once a Bible text is explained 
as possessing divine authority, no one needs to trouble any longer about the 
allegorical interpretation of those who had canonized it; the acceptance of it 
as a divine authority tacitly enjoined the faithful to read it in such a way as to 
draw the maximum of edifying matter from it. This was the true method of inter- 
pretation! A few connecting links, be they ever so slender and arbitrary, had to 
be made between certain parts of the literal text and the fine ideas which were 
attached to the letter. But, once this was done, everything was in order, and 
those ideas now ranked as the ideas of the text itself. So it is at bottom with all 
books of human law, mutatés mutandis. They all invite an ‘‘allegorical” 
interpretation alongside of the historical (z.e., the sense of the original lawgiver), 
They not only permit but involve the acceptance of any explanation as legitimate 
which can at all be reconciled with the letter of their writing, even though the 
reconciliation be rather forced. 



the Old Testament fell into the background. Still, these were 
not numerous. Plainly, there were vital points at which the 
former could not undertake to render the service done by the 
latter. No doubt any statement of Christian morality always 
went back to the words of Jesus as its primary source. Here 
the Old Testament had to retire. But elsewhere the latter held 
its own. It was only in theory, not in practice, that an imper- 
ceptible revolution occurred. The conflict with gnosticism, and 
the formation of the New Testament which took place in and 
with that conflict, made it plain to the theologians of the 
catholic church that the simple identification of the Old Testa- 
ment and the gospel was by no means a matter of course. The 
first theologians of the ancient catholic church, Irenzeus and 
Tertullian, already relax this absolute identification; they 
rather approximate to the conception of the apostle Paul, viz., 
that the Old Testament and the old covenant mark quite a 
different level from that of the New. The higher level of the 
new covenant is recognized, and therewith the higher level of 
the New Testament as well. Now in theory this led to many 
consequences of no small moment, for people learned to assign 
higher value to the specific significance of the Christian religion 
when it was set in contrast to the Old Testament—a point on 
which the gnostics had insisted with great energy. But in 
practice this change of estimate did not seriously affect the use 
of the Old Testament. If one could now hold theoretically 
that much of the Old Testament was “ demutatum, suppletum, 
impletum, perfectum,” and even “expunctum” by the New 
Testament (Tert., de Orat., i.), the third century saw the Old 
Testament allegorized and allegorically employed as_ direct 
evidence for the truths of Christianity. Indeed, people really 
ceased to allegorize it. As the churches became stocked with 
every kind of sacred ceremony, and as they carefully developed 
priestly, sacrificial, and sacramental ideas, people now began to 
grow careless and reckless in applying the letter of Old Testa- 
ment ceremonial laws to the arrangements of the Christian 
organization and worship. In setting itself up as a legislative 
body, the church had recourse to the Old Testament in a way 
fe Pack had scvexely censured; it fell back on the law, 


though all the while it blamed the Jews and declared that their 
observance of the law was quite illicit. In dogma there was 
now greater freedom from the Old Testament than had been 
the case during the second century; Christological problems 
occupied the foreground, and theological interests shifted from 
problems of θεός and λόγος to those of the Trinity and of 
Christology, as well as to Christocentric mysteries. In the 
practice of the church, however, people employed the Old Testa- 
ment more lavishly than their predecessors, in order to get a 
basis for usages which they considered indispensable. For a 
purpose of this kind the New Testament was of little use. 

The New Testament as a whole did not generally play the 
same role as the Old Testament in the mission and practice of 
the church. The gospels certainly ranked on a level with the 
Old Testament, and actually eclipsed it ; through them the words 
of Jesus gleamed and sparkled, and in them his death and resur- 
rection were depicted. But the epistles never enjoyed the same 
importance—particularly as many passages in them, in Paul 
especially, landed the fathers of the church in sore difficulties, 
above all during the conflict with gnosticism. Augustine was the 
first to bring the Pauline gospel into prominence throughout the 
West ; in the East, it never emerged at all from the shadow. As 
for the Johannine theology, it left hardly any traces upon the 
early church. Only one or two sections of it proved effective. 
As a whole, it remained a sealed book, though the same may be 
said of the Pauline theology.” 

1 The second epistle of Peter already bewails this, and one can see from the great 
work of Irenzeus what difficulties were raised by the Pauline doctrines of predes- 
tination, sin, freedom, and grace. Tertullian felt these difficulties still more keenly 
than Irenzeus, but as a Montanist he could solve them by means of the Paraclete ; 
cp., eg., de Resurr., \xiii.: ‘‘ Deus pristina instrumenta manifestis verborum et 
sensuum luminibus ab omni ambiguitatis obscuritate purgavit” (‘‘ God has now 
purged from all the darkness of ambiguity those ancient scriptures, by the plain 
light of their language and their meanings, z.¢., by the new prophecy). 

2 Along with the Bible, z.e., primarily with the Old Testament, a considerable 
literature of apocalypses and allied writings entered the Christian churches. These 
also contained cosmological and philosophical materials. Tertullian conjectures 
that pagan philosophers may have been acquainted with them, but he speaks very 
slightingly of them (de Anzma, ii.): ‘* Quid autem, si philosophi etiam illa incursave- 
runt quae penes nos apocryphorum confessione damnantur, certos nihil recipiendum 
quod non conspiret germanae, et ipso iam aevo pronatae propheticae paraturae, 


uando et pseudoprophetarum meminerimus et multo prius apostatarum spirituum,” 
εἰς. (‘‘What if the philosophers have also attacked those writings which we 
_ condemn under the title of ‘apocryphal,’ convinced as we are that nothing should 
be received unless it tallies with the true prophetic system which has also arisen in 
the present age, since we do not forget the existence of false prophets and apostate 
Spirits long before them,” etc.); cp. de Resurr., \xiii., where he says that the 
ics ‘‘arcana apocryphorum superducunt, blasphemiae fabulas ” (‘‘ introduce 
mysteries and blasphemous fables ”). 




1. Iv combating “demons” (pp. 125 f.) and in taking the 
field against the open immorality which was part and parcel of 
polytheism (pp. 205 f.), the early church was waging war 
against polytheism. But it did not rest content with this onset. 
Directly, no doubt, the “dumb idols” were weakened by this 
attack ; still, they continued to be a real power, particularly in 
the circles from which the majority of Christians were drawn. 
Nowadays, the polemic against the gods of Olympus, against 
Egyptian cats and crocodiles, or against carved and cast and 
chiselled idols, seems to our eyes to have been cheap and super- 
fluous. It was not a difficult task, we may fairly add; philo- 
sophers like the Cynics and satirists like Lucian supplied a 
wealth of material, and the intellect and moral sense alike had 
long ago outgrown that sort of deity. But it was by no means 
superfluous. Had it been unnecessary, the apologists from 
Aristides to Arnobius would never have pursued this line of 
controversy with such zest, the martyr. Apollonius would never 
have troubled to deliver his long polemic before the senate, and 
Tertullian, an expert in heathen laws and customs, would never 
have deemed it necessary to refute polytheism so elaborately 
in his defence before the presiding magistrate. Yet even from 
this last-named refutation we see how disreputable (we might 
almost say, how shabby) the public system of gods and sacrifices 
had already become. It was scoffed at on the stage; half-dead | 
animals of no value were offered in sacrifice;! the idols were 

1 Tert., Afo/,, xiv.: ‘‘I wish now to review your sacred rites. I donot censure 

your methods of sacrifice, offering what is worn-out, scabbed, and corrupting, 


᾿ς dishonoured, the temples were profaned.' The whole business 

lay under a mass of disgust, disdain, derision, and nausea. But 

it would be a serious mistake to suppose that this feeling was 
universal. Not merely was everything kept going officially, but 
many minds still clung to such arrangements and ceremonies, 
The old cults were freshened by the influx of the new religions, 

_and a new significance was often lent even to their most retro- 

grade elements. Besides, whether the public system of religion 
was flourishing or entirely withered, it by no means represented 

_ the sole existing authority. In every town and province, at 

Rome as well as at Alexandria, in Spain, in Asia, in Egypt, 

there were household gods and family gods, with household 

customs of religion, and all manner of superstitions and cere- 
monies. ‘These rarely rise above the surface of literature, but 
inscriptions, tombs, and magical papyri have brought them 
nearer us. Here every household function has its guardian 

spirit; every event is under one controlling god. And this 

religious world, this second-class religion, it must be remembered, 
was living and active everywhere. 

As a rule, the apologists contented themselves with assailing 
the official world of gods.2 Their method aimed, in the first 
place, at rousing the moral sense against these so-called “ gods” 
by branding their abominable vices; in the second place, it 

sought to exhibit the folly and absurdity of what was taught 

or told about the gods; and, thirdly, it aimed at exposing the 
origin of the latter. The apologists showed that the gods were 

an empty nothing, illusions created by the demons who lay in 

wait behind their dead puppets and introduced them in order 

cutting off for the altar the useless parts from the fat and sound—e.g., head and 
hoofs, which you would hand at home to your dogs and children —not giving a 
third part of the tithe of Hercules,” etc. ἢ 

1 Tert., Afol., xlii.: ‘‘ Every day, you complain, the temple-receipts are 
dwindling away. How few people nowadays put in their contributions!” Cp, 
Arnobius, I. xxiv. 

* Household superstitions perhaps seemed to them too unimportant, or else they 
counted upon these being dragged down of their own accord in the collapse of the 
public superstitions, On this point they certainly made a miscalculation.—A scene 
at Ephesus is related in Acts, which may be adduced at this point. Thanks to 
Paul’s preaching, the converts were roused to bring out the books of magic which 
they had at home and to burn them (Acts xix. 19). But there are few parallels 
to this scene in the literature of early Christianity. 



to control men by this means. Or, following the track of 
Euhemerus, they showed that the so-called gods were nothing but 
dead men. Or, again, they pointed out that the whole thing 
was a compound of vain fables and deceit, and very often the 
product of covetous priestcraft. In so doing they displayed 
both wit and irony, as well as a very strong feeling of aversion. 
We do not know, of course, how much of all this argument and 

feeling was original. As has been already remarked, the Stoic, 

Sceptic, and Cynic philosophers (in part, the Epicureans also) 

had preceded Christianity along this line, and satires upon the | 

gods were as cheap as blackberries in that age. Consequently, 

it is needless to illustrate this point by the citation of individual 
passages. A perusal of the Apology of Aristides, which is of — 
no great size, is quite sufficient to give one an idea of this kind © 

of polemic; the Oratio ad Graecos of pseudo-Justin may also be 
consulted, and especially the relevant sections in the Apology 
of Tertullian. 

The duty of keeping oneself free from all contamination with | 

polytheism ranked as the swpreme duty of the Christian. It took 
precedence of all others. It was regarded as the negative side 
_ of the duty of confessing one’s faith, and the “sin of idolatry” 
was more strictly dealt with in the Christian church than any 
sin whatsoever.” Not for long, and not without great difficulty, 
did the church make up her mind to admit that forgiveness 
could be extended to this offence, and what forced her first to 
this conclusion was the stress of the terrible consequences of the 
Decian outburst (i.¢., after 250 a.p.).2 This we can well under- 
stand, for exclusiveness was the condition of her existence as a 
church. If she made terms with polytheism at a single point, 

1 The Euhemeristic vein was neither the oldest nor the most popular, however, 
among Christian writers. 

2 Cp. Tertull., de Zdo/.,i.: ‘* Principale crimen generis humani, summus saeculi 
reatus, tota causa iudicii, idolatria” (‘‘ Idolatry is the principal crime of mankind, 
the supreme guilt of the world, the entire reason of judgment”). In the opening 
chapter of this treatise Tertullian endeavours to prove that all the cardinal vices 
(e.g., adultery, murder, etc.) are included in idolatry. 

8 Hitherto it had only dawned on Tertullian, during his conflict with the laxity 
displayed by the church in her treatment of fleshly sins, that under certain circum- 
stances a denial of the faith extorted by means of torture was a lesser sin than 
adultery and fornication. A similar position was afterwards adopted by Cyprian. 


δ. πα πω 


it was all over with her distinctive character. Such was the 

_ position of affairs, at any rate until about the middle of the 
third century. After that she could afford to be less anxious, 
since the church as an institution had grown so powerful, and 

her doctrine, cultus, and organization had developed in so 
characteristic a fashion by that time, that she stood out as a 
sharply defined magnitude swt generis, even when, consciously or 
unconsciously, she went half-way to meet polytheism in disguise, 

or showed herself rather lenient towards it. 

But as the duty of confession did not involve the duty of 

_ pushing forward to confess, or indeed of denouncing oneself! (in 
_ the epistle of the church of Smyrna to the church of Philomelium 

an explicit protest is even entered against this practice, while 
elsewhere ? the Montanist craving for martyrdom is also censured),? 
so to protest against polytheism did not involve the obligation 

of publicly protesting against it of one’s own accord. There 

were indeed cases in which a Christian who was standing as a 
spectator in court audibly applauded a confessor, and in conse- 
quence of this was himself arrested. Such cases were mentioned 
with approval, for it was held that the Spirit had impelled the 
spectator. But open abuse of the emperor or of the gods was 

μοῦ sanctioned any more than rebellion ; in fact, all unprovoked 

insults and all upsetting of images were rebuked. Here and 
there, however, such incidents must have occurred, for in the 

1 Even to escape in time was permissible, according to Matt. x. 23, but the 
Montanists and Tertullian would not allow this; cp, the latter’s treatise ‘‘de Fuga 

in Persecutione.” Clement speaks very thoughtfully on the point ; cp. Strom., 

IV. x., Ixxvi.—-Ixxvii., and VII. xi.-xii. 

2 The Acts of Perpetua relate, without any censure, how Saturus voluntarily 
announced that he was a Christian. But then these Acts are Montanist. 

3 It was not quite the same thing when Christians trooped into court, in order 
to force the magistrate either to have them all killed or to spare them all; cp. 
Tertull., ad Scap. v.: Arrius Antoninus in Asia cum persequeretur instanter, 

~ omnes illius civitatis Christiani ante tribunalia eius se manu facta obtulerunt. tum 
' ille paucis duci jussis reliquis ait: ὦ δειλοὶ, εἰ θέλετε ἀποθνήσκειν, κρημνοὺς 

ἢ βρόχου“ ἔχετε (cp. above, p. 270). 

4 Still, there were some Christians who exulted in this kind of thing, as is plain 
from several records (from a late period, of course) of the martyrs, Eusebius 
narrates approvingly (de Mart. Pal., ii.) the action of the martyr Romanus, who, 
just after the Diocletian persecution had broken out, saw in Antioch a procession 
of men, women, and children on their way to the temples, and tried to stop them 
by means of loud warnings. 


sixtieth canon of Elvira we read: “Si quis idola fregerit et — 

ibidem fuerit occisus, quatenus in evangelio scriptum non est 

neque invenietur sub apostolis unquam factum, placuit in — 
numerum eum non recipi martyrum” (“If anyone shall have — 

broken an idol and been slain in the act, he shall not be reckoned 

among the martyrs, seeing that no such command is to be found — 

in scripture, nor will any such deed be found to be apostolic”). 
2. In order to combat polytheism effectively, one could not 
stop short of the philosophers, not even of the most distinguished 
of their number, for they had all some sort of connection with 
idol-worship. But at this stage of their polemic the apologists 
diverged in different directions. All were agreed that no phil- 
osopher had discovered the truth in its purity and perfection ; 
and further, that no philosopher was in a position to demonstrate 
with certainty the truth which he had discovered, to spread it 
far and wide, or to make men so convinced of it as to die for 
it. But one set of apologists were quite content with making 
this strict proviso; moreover, they delighted in the harmony of 
Christianity and philosophy; indeed, like Justin, they would 
praise philosophers for their moral aims and profound ideas. 
The Christian teachers in Alexandria even went the length of 
finding a parallel to the Jewish law in Greek philosophy.! They 
found affinities with Plato’s doctrine of God and metaphysics, 
and with the Stoic ethic. ‘They recognized philosophers like 
Seneca” as their fellows to some extent. They saw in Socrates a 
hero and forerunner of the truth. Others, again, would not 
hear of philosophy or philosophers ; the best service they could 
render the gospel-mission was, in their opinion, to heap coarse 
abuse on both. ‘Tatian went to incredible lengths in this line, and 
was guilty of shocking injustice. ‘Theophilus fell little short of 
him, while even Tertullian, for all his debt to the Stoics, came 
dangerously near to Tatian. But these apologists were under 

an entire delusion if they imagined they were accomplishing 

very much by dint of all their calumnies. So far as we are in a 
position to judge, it was the methods, not of these extremists, 
but of Justin, Clement, and Origen, that impressed the Greek 

1 Cp. my lecture on ‘‘ Socrates and the Early Church” (1900). 
2 Cp. Tert., de Anima, xx.: ‘‘ Seneca saepe noster.” 


world of culture. Yet even the former had probably a public 
of their own. Most people either do not think at all, or else 
think in the crudest antitheses, and such natures would likely 
be impressed by Tatian’s invectives. Besides, it is impossible to 
ignore the fact that neither he nor Tertullian were mere calum- 
niators. ‘They were honest men. Wherever they came upon the 
slightest trace of polytheism, all their moral sense rose in revolt ; 
in polytheism, they were convinced, no good was to be found, 
and hence they gave credit to any calumnies which a profligate 
literature put at their disposal. Now traces of polytheism were 
thickly sown throughout all the philosophers, including even 
the most sublime of their number. Why, Socrates himself had 
ordered a cock to be slain, after he was dead, in honour of 
Asculapius! ‘The irony of the injunction was not understood. 
It was simply viewed as a recognition of idolatry. So even 
Socrates the hero had to be censured. Yet, whether half-admirers 
or keen opponents of philosophy, the apologists to a man occupied 
philosophic ground, and indeed Platonic ground. They attacked 
philosophy, but they brought it inside the church and built up 
the doctrinal system of the church on the outlines of Platonism 
and with the aid of Platonic material (see below, the epilogue of 
this book). 

3. From the practical point of view, what was of still greater 
moment than the campaign against the world and worship of 
the gods, was the campaign against the apotheosis of men. This 
struggle, which reached its height in the uncompromising rejec- 
tion of the imperial cultus, marked at the same time the resolute 
protest of Christianity against the blending of religion and 

᾿ patriotism, and consequently against that cultus of the state in 
which the state (personified in the emperor) formed itself the 
object of the cultus. One of the cardinal aims and issues of the 
Christian religion was to draw a sharp line between the worship 
of God and the honour due to the state and to its leaders. 
Christianity tore up political religion by the roots. 

The imperial cultus! was of a twofold nature. In both 
aspects it was an Oriental, not a Greek or a Roman phenomenon ; 

1 In addition to the well-known German literature on the subject, see Beurlier’s 
Essai sur le culte rendu aux empereurs romain (1890). 


yet this worship of the dead Czesars and of the living Ceesar, 
with its adoration of the imperial images, was dovetailed, not 
only without any difficulty, but inevitably, into the “ caeremoniae 
Romanae,” once the empire had become imperial. From the 
first the headquarters of the former (%.¢., the worship of the 
dead Czesars) were in Rome, whence it passed into the provinces 
as the most vital element of the state religion. The latter 
(.6.. the worship of the living Cesar) originated in the East, 
but as early as the first century it was adopted by Caligula and 
Domitian, and during the second century it became quite 
common (in the shape of adoration paid to the imperial images). 
The rejection of either cult was a crime which came under the 
head of sacrilege as well as of high treason, and i was here that 
the repressive measures taken by the state against Christianity 
almost invariably started, inasmuch as the state did not concede 
Christianity the same liberty on this point as she granted to 
Judaism. Had the Christians merely turned round against 
Olympus and hit upon some compromise with the imperial 
cultus, they would in all probability have been left entirely 
unmolested—such is Tertullian’s blunt assertion in his Apology 
(xxviii. f.). Nearly all the encounters between individual 
Christians and the regulations of the empire resolved themselves 
into a trial for treason. The positive value of the imperial 
cultus for the empire has been stated recently and impressively 
by von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf. 

1 In Geschichte des gerich. Religion (‘‘Jahrbuch des Freien deutschen 
Hochstifts,” 1904; reprint, pp. 23 f.): ‘‘ The idea by which Augustus brought 
renewal to the world was the religion of Poseidonius : faith in a universal reason and 
the unity of all life, in the Stoic universal deity, providence and necessity. He 
could regard himself as the organ or representative of this-cosmic law ; he could 
expect the personal survival of his soul as a reward for his clemency, since this 
corresponded exactly to the doctrine of Poseidonius. Hence the cult of the 
‘*divus ” was its justification. No one can understand the age or the man if he 
regards the ‘‘ divi filius” claim as merely ornamental or an imposture. Naturally 
enough, it ran counter to the taste and reason of Tiberius, who was averse to 
anything mystical, though he was addicted to a superstitious faith in astrology. 
Caligula’s belief in his divine nature made him a fool, and sensible people only 
saw a farce in Claudius being consecrated to divine honours by his murderers. 
Yet even they took it very seriously, The cultus of the person inevitably passed 
once more, as it had done after Alexander the Great, into the cultus of the office, 
The emperor was god, because he was emperor; he was not the viceroy of the 
universe because the god in him possessed the strength and the authority of lord- 



The Christians repudiated the imperial cultus in every shape 
and form, even when they met it in daily life, in the very oaths 
and turns of expression which made the emperor appear a super- 
human being. Unhesitatingly they reckoned it a phase of 
idolatry. Withal, they guarded themselves against the charge 
of being disrespectful and disloyal, by pointing to their prayers 
for the emperor and for the state.’ These prayers, in fact, 
constituted a fixed part of Christian worship from the very 

ship. His person embodied the supreme power of the empire, and this made 
itself felt by the smallest and most remote of his subjects. This personal embodi- 
ment was as unapproachable to the million as a universal god in heaven, further 
removed from each individual than the gods of his village or his district. And if 
one could not manage to understand the unity of all life in heaven and on earth, 
still on earth this unity of the state, the church, the law, and morals was a fact ; 
it might deserve the predicate of ‘‘divine,” and, if so, then the worship of its 
personal exponents was an irresistible religious obligation. Thus the imperial 
cultus, or the cultus of the empire, was the cardinal article of religion. To deny 
it was tantamount to the ancient crime of denying the πάτριοι θεοί of the city- 
republics. All other deities who shared the worship of civil or municipal bodies 
fell into their place within and below this religion ; henceforth their cultus had no 
meaning save as part of the larger cultus which the state enjoined. Even in the 
West the imperial cultus absorbed within itself the older deities, whether Fortuna, 
Silvanus, the Mater Augusti or Auguste. The content of this faith was great 
indeed, for all the benefits of civilisation, from the security of physical life up to 
the highest pleasures of the human spirit, were viewed as gifts of the deity, who 
was at once immanent in the empire and also for the time being in the emperor 
or in his genius or fortune as the personal embodiment of the divine... .. It 
followed quite logically that the refusal to sacrifice to the emperor was high treason. 
The Christians refused this from the firm and clear sense that they were resisting 
the πολιτεία τοῦ κόσμου in so doing. They felt that they were citizens of another 
empire. It was equally logical to regard them as ἄθεοι, since their denial of the 
state-religion meant a denial of all the gods whose existence was due to the favour 
of the state,” 

1 Cp. the familiar passages from the New Testament, the apostolic fathers, and 
the apologists. The content of these intercessions, which was current in Carthage, 
is given by Tertullian in Afo/., xxxix. (‘‘Oramus etiam pro imperatoribus, pro 
ministris eorum et potestatibus, pro statu saeculi, pro rerum quiete, pro mora 
finis”—‘‘ We pray too for the emperors, for their subordinates, and for all 
authorities, for the welfare of the world, for peace, for the delay of the end”) ; 
and xxx. (*‘Precantes sumus semper pro omnibus imperatoribus: vitam 1115 
prolixam, imperium securum, domum tutam, exercitus fortes, senatum fidelem, 
populum probum, orbem quietum, quaecumque hominis et Caesaris vota sunt 
[a deo oramus]”—‘‘ We ever pray to God for all the emperors, for length of life 
to them, for the safety of the empire, for the protection of the royal household, 
for bravery in the army, loyalty in the senate and virtue among the people, for 
peace throughout the world; in short, for whatever, as man or emperor, the 
Cesars would desire”). 


first,! while the saying of Christ, “ Render unto Cesar the things 
that are Cesar’s,” was generally referred, not merely to obedi- 
ence and the punctual payment of taxes, but also to intercession. 
The sharpest strictures passed by individual Christian teachers 
upon the character of the Roman state and the imperial office 
never involved the neglect of intercession or dissuaded Christians 
from this duty. Numerous passages, in which the emperor is 
mentioned immediately after God, attest the fact that he was 
held by Christians to be “a deo secundus ante omnes et super 
omnes deos ” (Tertull., Apol., xxx. : “second only to God, before 
and above all the gods”).? Christians, in fact, could declare 
that they tolerated no defect, either in the theory or in the 
practice of their loyalty. ‘They taught—and they made their 
teaching an inherent element of history—that worship paid to 
God was one thing, and honour paid to a ruler quite another ; 
also, that to worship a monarch was a detestable and humiliating 
offence. Nevertheless, they strictly inculcated obedience to all 
authority, and respect for the emperor. 

The general position of the church did not alter upon this 
point during the third century ;? it adhered to its sharp denial 
of apotheosis in the shape of the imperial cultus. But at 
another point apotheosis gradually filtered into the church with 
elemental force, namely, through the worship of the apostles 
and the martyrs. As early as the apocryphal Acts, written 
towards the close of the second and the opening of the third 
century, we find the apostles appearing as semi-divine; in fact, 

1 Their origin dates from the very earliest times, but we do not know what 
considerations led to their institution. 

2 This high estimate of the emperors as ‘‘ second to God alone”’ does not, how- 
ever, affect the conviction that they could never be Christians, At least it does 
not in the case of Tertullian (cp, Afol., xxi.: ‘‘ Et Caesares credidissent super 
Christo, si aut Caesares non essent necessarii saeculo, aut si et Christiani potuissent 
esse Caesares ”-—‘‘ The Ceesars, too, would have believed in Christ, if they had not 
been necessary to the world as Ceesars, or if they could have been Czsars and 
Christians as well”). Sixty years later a different view prevailed throughout the 
East. Not only was it reported widely that Alexander Severus and Philip had 
become secretly Christians, but even so prominent a teacher as Dionysius of 
Alexandria believed this legend and did not take umbrage at it. 

3 Dionysius of Alexandria (Eus., 4. Z., vii. 23) no doubt applied Isa. xliii. 19 
to Gallienus, who was friendly disposed towards the Christians. But this was 
mere rhetoric. 


even by the year 160 a.p., the pagans in Smyrna were afraid 
that the Christians would pay divine honours to the martyred 
Polycarp, while Lucian scoffs at the impostor Peregrinus, with 
his cheap martyrdom, passing for a god amongst the Christians. 
Both fear and scoff were certainly baseless as yet. But they 
were not baseless three generations afterwards. 'Towards the 
close of the third century there were already a number of chapels 
in existence, consecrated! to the apostles, patriarchs, martyrs, 
and even the archangels; people had a predilection for passing 
the night at the graves of the saints, and a cultus of the saints 
had been worked out in a wide variety of local forms, which 
afforded an indispensable means of conserving those ancient 
cults to which the common people still clung. Theoretically, 
the line between the worship of God and this cultus of deliverers 
and intercessors was sharply drawn throughout the third century, 
although one Christian root for the latter cultus is evident in 
the communion of the saints. As things stood, however, the 
distinction between the two was constantly blurred in the course 
of practical experience.” For all its monotheism, the Christian 
religion at the close of the third century represented a religion 
which was exceptionally strong in saints and angels and de- 
liverers, in miraculous relics, and so forth; on this score it was 
able to challenge any cult whatsoever. Porphyry (the pagan 
quoted in Macar. Magnes, IV. xxi.) was quite alive to this. He 
wrote as follows: “If, therefore, you declare that beside God 
there are angels who are not subject to suffering and death, and 
are incorruptible in nature—just the beings we call gods, inas- 

1 Cp. Eus., Wart. Pal., p. 102 (Texte τι. Unters., xv. 4). 

2 Origen attacks only a moiety of polytheistic superstition and its expressions ; 
cp. Hom. viii. 4 2” Jesum Nave (vol. xi. p. 67): ‘‘ Illi qui, cum Christiani sint, 
solemnitates gentium celebrant, anathema in ecclesias introducunt. Qui de 
astrorum cursibus vitam hominum et gesta perquirunt, qui volatus avium et cetera 
huiusmodi, quae in saeculo prius observabantur, inquirunt, de Jericho anathema 
inferunt in ecclesiam, et polluunt castra domini et vinci faciunt populum dei” 
(‘‘ Those who, even though they are Christians, celebrate the festivals of pagans, 
bring anathema into the churches. Those who make out the life and deeds of 
men from the courses of the stars, who study the flight of birds, and engage in similar 
practices, which they formerly observed in the world, bring the anathema of 
Jericho on the church ; they pollute the camp of the Lord, and cause God’s people 
to be overcome”), He could and should have mentioned a great deal more; 
only in such directions he was no longer sensitive to polytheism. 


-much as they stand near the godhead—then what is all the 
dispute about, with regard to names? Or are we to con- 
sider it merely a difference of terminology? . . . . So, if any- 
one likes to call them either gods or angels—for names are, on 
the whole, of no great moment, one and the same goddess, for 
example, being called Athené and Minerva, and by still other 
names among the Egyptians and the Syrians—then it makes no 
great difference, as their divine nature is actually attested even 
by yourselves in Matt. xxii. 29-31.” } 

4. The warfare against polytheism was also waged by means 
of a thoroughgoing opposition to the theatre and to all the 
games. Anyone who considers the significance * of these features 
in ancient life and their close connection with idolatry,’ knows 

1 Porphyry then proceeds, in his attack upon the cheap criticism levelled by 
Christians (see above) at idolatry: ‘‘ When, therefore, it is admitted that the 
angels share in the divine nature, it is not, on the other hand, the belief of those 
who pay seemly honour to the gods, that God is composed of the wood or stone 
or brass from which the image is manufactured, nor is it their opinion that, 
whenever a bit of the image is broken off, some injury is thereby inflicted on the 
power of the god in question. Images and temples of the gods have been created 
from all antiquity for the sake of forming reminders to men. Their object is to 
make those who draw near them think of God thereby, or to enable them, after 
ceasing from work, and abstaining from anything else, to address their vows and 
prayers to him, that each may obtain from him whatever he is in need of. For 
when any person gets an image or picture of some friend prepared for himself, he 
certainly does not believe that his friend is to be found in the image, or that his 
members exist actually inside the different portions of the representation. His 
idea rather is that the honour which he pays to his friend finds expression in the 
image. And while the sacrifices offered to the gods do not bring them any 
honour, they are meant as a testimony to the goodwill of their worshippers, 
implying that the latter are not ungrateful to the gods.” The majority of 
Christians by this time scarcely held so pure and spiritual a view of the matter 
as this ‘* worshipper of idols,” . 

2 For what follows, see Bigelmair’s Die Betetligung der Christen am offentlichen 
Leben tn vorconstantinischer Zeit (1902). 

5 Tert., de Spect., iv.: ‘‘ Quid erit summum ac praecipuum, in quo diabolus 
et pompae et angeli eius censeantur, quam idololatria?... . Igitur si ex 
idololatria universam spectaculorum paraturam constare constiterit, indubitate 
praeiudicatum erit etiam ad spectacula pertinere renuntiationis nostrae testi- 
monium in lavacro, quae diabolo et pompae et angelis eius sint mancipata, 
scil, per idololatriam, Commemorabimus origines singulorum, quibus incunabulis 
in saeculo adoleverint, exinde titulos quorundam, quibus nominibus nuncupentur, 
exinde apparatus, quibus superstitionibus instruantur, tum loca, quibus praesidibus 
dicantur, tum artes, quibus auctoribus deputentur. Si quid ex his non ad idolum 
pertinuerit, id neque ad idololatriam neque ad nostram eiurationem pertinebit ” 
(‘‘ Where, more than in idolatry, will you find the devil with his pomp and 


what a polemic against them implied. But we may point out that 
existence, in case of vast numbers of people, was divided into 
daily drudgery and—* panis et circenses” (free food and the 
theatre). _No member of the Christian church was allowed to 
be an actor or gladiator, to teach acting (see Cypr., Hpist. ii.), or 
to attend the theatre.! The earliest flash of polemic occurs in 
the Oratio of Tatian (xxii.—xxiii.), and it was followed by others, 
including the treatises of Tertullian and pseudo - Cyprian 
(Novatian) de Spectaculis, and the discussions of Lactantius.? 

angels? . . . . Therefore, if it can be proven that the whole business of the 
shows depends upon idolatry, unquestionably we shall have anticipated the 
conclusion that the confession of renouncing the world which we make in 
baptism, refers to these shows which have been handed over to the devil and 
his pomp and angels, z.¢., on account of their idolatry. We shall now exhibit 
their separate sources, the nurseries in which they have grown to maturity in the 
world; next the titles of some of them, the names by which they are called ; 
after that, their contents, the superstitions by which they are supported ; then 
their seats, the patrons to which they are dedicated; and finally their arts, the 
authors to whom they are to be referred. If any of these is found to have no 
connection with an idol, then it is irrelevant to idolatry and irrelevant also to our 
oath of abjuration”). Novatian, de Spect., ii.: ‘‘ Quando id quod in honore 
alicuius idoli ab ethnicis agitur [sc. the theatrical spectacles] a fidelibus christianis 
spectaculo frequentatur, et idololatria gentilis asseritur et in contumeliam dei 
religio vera et divina calcatur” (‘‘Since whatever is performed by pagans in 
honour of any idol is attended by faithful Christians in the public spectacles, and 
thus pagan idolatry is maintained, whilst the true and divine religion is trodden 
under foot in contempt of God”). 

1 Minuc. Felix, xii, : ‘‘ Vos vero suspensi interim atque solliciti honestis volup- 
tatibus abstinetis, non spectacula visitis, non pompis interestis, convivia publica 
absque vobis, sacra certamina ” (‘‘ But meantime, anxious and unsettled, you are 
abstaining from respectable enjoyments ; you attend no spectacles, you take no 
part in public displays, public banquets and the sacred contest you decline”). 

2 Instit., vi. 26-21 ; see also Arnob., iv. 35 f.—Along with the games, partici- 
pation in public festivals was also forbidden, as these were always bound up with 
polytheism. Cp, the seventh canon of Ancyra: περὶ τῶν συνεστιαθέντων ἐν ἑορτῇ 
ἐθνικῇ, ἐν τόπῳ ἀφωρισμένῳ τοῖς ἐθνικοῖς, ἴδια βρώματα ἐπικομισαμένων καὶ φαγόντων, 
ἔδοξε διετίαν ὑποπεσόντας δεχθῆναι (‘* With regard to those who have sat down at 
a pagan banquet, in a place set apart for pagans, even though they brought and 
ate their own food, it seems good to us that they be received after they have done 
penance for two years”). In this connection, Tertullian, de /do/., xiii.-xvi., is 
particularly important. All public festivals, he declares, are to be avoided, since 
they are held either owing to wantonness or to timidity. ‘‘ If we rejoice with the 
world, it is to be feared that we shall also mourn with the world.” Here, of 
course, it is plain that Tertullian is in a minority. The majority of Christians at 
Carthage saw nothing wrong in attending public or private feasts; in fact, it was 
considered rather a dangerous mark of the factious spirit to abstain from them. 
*** Let your works shine,’ is Christ’s rule,” says Tertullian in his cry of complaint. 


These writings by themselves are enough to show that the above 
prohibitions were not universally obeyed. The passion for 
public games was almost irresistible, and Tertullian has actually 
to hold out hopes of the spectacle afforded by the future world 
as a compensation to Christians who were robbed of their shows 
in the present.” Still, the conflict with these shows was by no 
means in vain. On the contrary, its effects along this line were 
greater than along other lines. By the time that-Constantine 
granted privileges to the church, public opinion had developed 

‘* But here are all our shops and doors shining! Nowadays you will find more 
doors unilluminated and unwreathed among the pagans than among the Christians ! 
What do you think about the custom? Ifit is meant as honour to an idol, then 
certainly it is idolatry to honour an idol. If, again, it is done for the sake of some 
man, then let us remember that all idolatry is worship paid to men (the gods of 
the pagans having been formerly men themselves).” ‘‘ I know how one Christian 
brother was severely punished in a vision on that very night, because his slaves 
had decorated his gateway with wreaths on the sudden proclamation of some 
public thanksgiving.” Tertullian only draws the line at well-established family 
feasts such as those at the assumption of the toga virilis, betrothals, marriages, and 
name-givings, since these are not necessarily contaminated with idolatry, and 
since the command to observe no particular days does not apply in these instances. 
‘*Qne may accept an invitation to such functions, provided that the title of 
the invitation does not run ‘to assist at a sacrifice.” Except in the latter 
event, I can please myself as much as I like. Since Satan has so thoroughly 
entangled the world in idolatry, it must be allowable for us to attend certain 
ceremonies, if thereby we stipulate that we are under obligations to a man and 
not to an idol.” 

1 Novatian, de Sfect., i. : ‘‘Quoniam non desunt vitiorum assertores blandi et 
indulgentes patroni qui praestant vitiis auctoritatem e¢ guod est deterius censuram 
scripturarum caelestitum in advocationem criminum convertunt, quasi sine culpa 
innocens spectaculorum ad remissionem animi appetatur voluptas—nam et eo 
usque enervatus est ecclesiasticae disciplinae vigor et ita omni languore vitiorum 
praecipitatur in peius ut non iam vitiis excusatio sed auctoritas detur—placuit 
paucis vos non nunc instruere [7.e., de spectaculis], sed instructos admonere ” 
(‘‘ Plausible advocates of vice are not awanting, nor are complaisant patrons who 
lend their authority to vice and—what ἐς worseé—twist the rebuke of scripture 
into a defence of crimes ; as if any innocent pleasure could be sought from public 
shows by way of relaxation for the mind. The vigour of ecclesiastical discipline 
has become so weakened and so deteriorated by all the languor produced by vices, 
that wickedness wins no longer an apology but actual authority for itself. Conse- 
quently I have determined not now to instruct you [on public shows], but in a 
few words to admonish those who have been instructed ”). 

2 De Spect., xxx., with its closing sentence, ‘‘ Ceterum qualia illa sunt, quae nec 
oculus vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascenderunt? Credo, circa et 
utraque cavea et omni stadio gratiora” (‘‘ But what are the things that eye hath 
not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man? Superior, I 
imagine, to the circus, the theatre, the amphitheatre, and any racecourse !”). 


_ to such a pitch that the state immediately adopted measures for 
curtailing and restricting the public spectacles. 

5. A sharp attack was also made upon luxury, in so far as it 
__was bound up in part with polytheism and certainly betrayed a 
~ senseless and pagan spirit. Cp. the Paedagogus of Clement, and 
Tertullian’s writings “de cultu feminarum.” It was steadily 
maintained that the money laid out upon luxuries would be 
better spent in charity. But no special regulations for the 
external life of Christians were as yet drawn up. 

6. With regard to the question of how far a Christian could 
take part in the manners and customs and occupations of daily 
life without denying Christ and incurring the stain of idolatry, 
there was a strict attitude as well as a lenient, freedom as well 
as narrowness, even within the apostolic age. ‘Then the one 
burning question, however, seems to have been that of food 
offered to idols, or whether one could partake of meals pro- 
vided by unbelievers. In those days, as the large majority of 
Christians belonged to the lower classes, they had no repre- 
sentative duties, but were drawn from working people of the 
lower orders, from day-labourers, in fact, whose simple occupa- 
tion hardly brought them into any kind of relation to public 
life, and consequently exempted them from any conflict in this 
sphere. Presently, however, a change came over the situation. 
A host of difficult and vexatious problems poured upon the 
churches. Even the laxer party would do nothing that ran 
counter to the will of God. They, too, had scriptural proofs 
ready to support their position, and corollaries from scriptural 
principles. ‘‘ Flee from one city to another” was the command 
they pled when they prudently avoided persecution. “I have 
power over all things,” “ We must be all things to all men”— 
so they followed the apostle in declaring. ‘They knew how to 
defend even attendance at public spectacles from scripture. 
Novatian (de Spect., ii.) sorrowfully quotes their arguments as 
follows: “ Where, they ask, are such scriptures? Where are 
such things prohibited? Nay, was not Elijah the charioteer of 
Israel? Did not David himself dance before the ark? We read 

1 Against games of chance, cp. the treatise of pseudo-Cyprian (Victor) adversus 
Aleatores, and a number of cognate passages in other writings. 


of horns, psalteries, trumpets, drums, pipes, harps, and choral 
dances. The apostle, too, in his conflict with evil sets before 
us the struggle of the cestus and our wrestling with the spiritual 
powers of wickedness. Again, he takes illustrations from the 
racecourse, and holds out to us the prize of the crown. Why, 
then, may not a faithful Christian look at things of which the 
sacred books could write?” 

This defence of attendance at the games sounds almost 
frivolous. But there were many graver conflicts on this subject, 
which one can follow with serious interest. 

Participation in feasts and in convivial gatherings already 

occasioned such conflicts to a large extent, but it was the — 

question of one’s occupation that was really crucial. Can a 
Christian engage in business generally in the outside world 
without incurring the stain of idolatry? Though the strict 
party hardly tabooed a single occupation on the score of 
principle, yet they imposed such restrictions as amounted almost 
to a prohibition. In his treatise de Idololatria, Tertullian goes 
over a series of occupations, and his conclusion is the same in 

almost every case: better leave it alone, or be prepared ἴο. 

abandon it at any moment. 'To the objection, “ But I have no 
means of livelihood,” the reply follows, ‘‘ A Christian need never 
be afraid of starving.” ? 

Tertullian especially prohibits the manufacture of idols 
(iv. f.), as was only natural. Yet there were Christian workmen 
who knew no other trade, and who tried to shelter themselves 
behind the text, “ Let every man abide in the calling wherein 
he was called” (1 Cor. vii. 20). They also pointed out that 
Moses had a serpent manufactured in the wilderness. From 

1 Cp. especially the sharp remarks in ch. xii f. α propos of the passages from 
᾿ the gospels, which conclude: ‘‘ Nemo eorum, quos dominus allegit, non habeo, 
dixit, quo vivam. Fides famem non timet. Scit etiam famem non minus sibi 
contemnendam propter deum quam omne mortis genus; didicit non respicere 
vitam, quanto magis victum? Quotusquisque haec adimplevit? sed quae penes 
homines difficilia, penes deum facilia?” (‘‘ None of those whom the Lord chose 
for himself ever said, I have no means of livelihood. Faith has no fear of starva- 
tion. Faith knows it must despise starvation as much as any kind of death, for 
the sake of God. Life it has learnt not to respect ; how much more, food? How 
many, you ask, have answered to these conditions? Ah well, what is hard with 
men is easy with God”’). 



Tertullian’s charges it is quite evident that the majority in the 
church connived at such people and their practices. ‘ From idols: 
they pass into the church; from the workshop of the adversary 
they come to the house of God; to God the Father they raise 
hands that fashion idols; to the Lord’s body they apply hands 
that have conferred bodies upon idols. Nor is this all. They 
are not content to contaminate what they receive from other 
hands, but even hand on to others what they have themselves 
contaminated. Manufacturers of idols are actually elected to 
ecclesiastical office!” (wvii.). 

As against these lax members of the church, Tertullian pro- 
hibits the manufacture, not only of images and statues, but also 
of anything which was even indirectly employed in idol-worship. 
Carpenters, workers in stucco, joiners, slaters, workers in gold- 
leaf, painters, brass-workers, and engravers—all must refrain 
from manufacturing the slightest article required for idol- 
worship; all must refuse to participate in any work (e.g., in 
repairs) connected therewith (ch. viii.). 

Similarly, no one is allowed to practise as an astrologer or a 
magician. Had not the magi to depart home “by another 
way”?' Nor can any Christian be a schoolmaster or a professor 
of learning, since such professions frequently bring people into 
contact with idolatry.2 Knowledge of the pagan gods has to 
be diffused; their names, genealogy and myths have to be 

1 Tertullian, de Anima, lvii,: ‘‘ Quid ergo dicemus magiam? Quod omnes paene 
—fallaciam ! Sed ratio fallaciae solos non fugit Christianos, qui spiritualia nequitiae, 
non quidem socia conscientia, sed inimica scientia novimus, nec invitatoria 
operatione, sed expugnatoria dominatione tractamus multiformem luem mentis 
humanae, totius erroris artificem, salutis pariter animaeque vastatorem. Sic etiam 
magiae, secundae scilicet idololatriae,” etc. (‘‘ What then shall we say about magic? 
Just what almost everybody says—that it is sheer imposture! The nature of the 
imposture has been detected by more than Christians, though we have discovered 
these spirits of iniquity, not because we are in league with them, but by a hostile 
instinct, not because our methods of work attract them, but on the contrary 
because we handle them by means of a power which vanquishes them. This 
protean pest of the human mind! This deviser of all error! This destroyer 
alike of our salvation and of our soul! For thus it is, by magic, which is simply 
a second idolatry,” etc. ). 

2 Mathematics was also suspect. Even in the beginning of the fourth century 
there was opposition offered in Emesa to Eusebius being promoted to the 
episcopate, on the ground that he practised mathematical studies (Socrates, 
Es, ἃ. 9). 

VOR. 1, 20 


imparted; their festivals and holy days have to be observed, 
“since it is by means of them that the teacher’s fees are 
reckoned.” The first payment of any new scholar is devoted 
by the teacher to Minerva. Is the contamination of idolatry 
any the less because in this case it leads to something else? 
It may be asked, if one is not to be a teacher of pagan learning, 
ought one then to be a pupil? But Tertullian is quite ready 
to be indulgent on this point, for—“how can we repudiate 
secular studies which are essential to the pursuit of religious 
studies?” A remarkable passage (x.).1 

Then comes trade. ‘Tertullian is strongly inclined to pro- 

1 The perusal of bad and seductive literature was, of course, always prohibited, 
so soon as this danger became felt. If one must not listen to blasphemous or 
heretical speeches, far less must one handle books of this character. What 
Dionysius of Alexandria relates about his own practice, only proves the rule 
(Eus., H.Z., vii. 7): ‘‘I have busied myself,” he writes to Philemon, the Roman 
presbyter, ‘‘ with the writings and also the traditions of the heretics, staining my 
soul for a little with their utterly abominable ideas, yet deriving this benefit from 
them, that I refute them for myself and loathe them all the more. One of the 
presbyters sought to dissuade me, fearing lest I might become mixed up with the 
mire of their iniquity and so injure my own soul. I felt he was quite right, but 
a divine vision came to confirm me, and a voice reached me with the clear 
command : ‘ Read all that you come across, for you can estimate and prove every- 
thing ; and this capacity has been from the first the explanation of your faith.’ I 
accepted the vision, as it tallied with the apostolic word spoken to the stronger 
Christians, ‘Be skilled moneychangers.’” Cp. Didasc. Apost., ii. (ed, Achelis, 
p. 5): ‘‘Keep away from all heathen writings, for what hast thou to do with 
strange words or laws and false prophecies, which indeed seduce young people 
from the faith? What dost thou miss in God’s Word, that thou dost plunge into 
these pagan histories? If thou wilt read histories, there are the books of Kings : 
if wise men and philosophers, there are the prophets, with whom thou shalt find 
more wisdom and understanding than in all the wise men and philosophers ; for 
these are the words of the one and the only wise God. If thou cravest hymns, 
there are the psalms of David; and if thou wantest information about the begin- 
ning of all things, there is the book of Genesis by the great Moses; if thou wilt 
have laws and decrees, there are his laws. .... Keep thyself therefore from all 
those strange things, which are contrary.” General prohibitions of definite books 
under pain of punishment begin with Constantine’s order regarding the writings 
of Arius and other heretics (Eus., Veta Const., iii. 66; for the prohibition of the 
writings of Eunomius, cp. Philostorgius, HZ. Z., xi. 5).—Whether one should quote 
pagan philosophers and poets, and, if so, how, remained a problem. The 
apologists made ample use of them, as we know. Paul’s citations from profane 
literature are striking (Tit. i. 12, 1 Cor. xv. 33, Acts xvii. 28); since Origen’s 
treatment of them, they have often been discussed and appealed to by the more 
liberal, Origen (Hom, xxxi., 222. Zuc., vol. v. p. 202) thought: ‘‘Ideo assumit 
Paulus verba etiam de his qui foris sunt, ut sanctificet eos.” 

ae oe ee 


hibit trade altogether,! owing to its origin in covetousness and 
its connection, however indirectly, with idolatry. It provides 
material for the temple services. What more need be said ἢ 
“Even supposing that these very wares—frankincense, I mean, 
and other foreign wares—used in sacrificing to idols, are also 
of use to people as medicinal salves, and particularly to us 
Christians in our preparations for a burial, still you are plainly 
promoting idolatry, so long as processions, ceremonies, and 
sacrifices to idols are furnished at the cost of danger, loss, 
inconvenience, schemes, discussion, and commercial ventures.” 
* With what face can a Christian dealer in incense, who happens 
to pass by a temple, spit on the smoking altars, and puff aside 
their fumes, when he himself has provided material for those , 
very altars?” (xi.).? The taking of interest on money was not 
differentiated from usury, and was strictly prohibited. But 
the prohibition was not adhered to. Repeatedly, steps had to 
be taken against even the clergy, the episcopate, and the church- 
widows for taking interest or following occupations tinged with 
usury.® | 

Can a Christian hold a civil appointment? Joseph and 
Daniel did; they kept themselves free from idolatry, said the 
liberal party in the church. But Tertullian is unconvinced. 
“Supposing,” he says, “that any one holder of an office were 
to succeed in coming forward with the mere title of the office, 
without either sacrificing or lending the sanction of his presence 
to a sacrifice, without farming out the supply of sacrificial 
victims, without handing over to other people the care of the 
temples or superintending their revenues, without holding 
spectacles either at his own or at the state’s expense, without 
presiding at such spectacles, without proclaiming or announcing 
any ceremony, without even taking an oath, and moreover—in 

1 Tertullian stands here pretty much by himself. We find even a man like 
Irenzeus (cp. iv. 30. 1) had no objections to a Christian engaging in trade. 

2 The clergy themselves were not absolutely forbidden to trade; only restric- 
tions were laid on them (cp. the nineteenth canon of Elvira), 

3 Cp. Funk, ‘‘Interest and Usury in Christian Antiquity” (7%idingen Theol. 
_ Quartalschrifi, vol. lvii., 1875, pp. 214 f.). See Eus., H.Z., v. 21; Cyprian, de 
_ Lapsts, vi., and Testim., iii. 48; Commod., Zustruct., ii. 24; and the twentieth 
canon of the Council of Elvira. 


regard to other official business—without passing judgment of 
life or death on anyone or on his civil standing . . . . without 
either condemning or laying down ordinances of punishment, 
without chaining or imprisoning, or torturing a single person— 
well, supposing all that to be possible, then there is nothing to 
be said against a Christian being an official!” Furthermore, 
the badges of officials are all mixed up with idolatry. “If you 
have abjured the pomp of the devil, know that whatever part 
of it you touch is idolatry to you” (xvii.—xviii.). 

This involves the impossibility of any Christian being a 
military officer. But may he not be a private and fill subordi- 
nate positions in the army? ‘“‘'The inferior ranks do not need 
to sacrifice, and have nothing to do with capital punishments.’ 
True, but it is unbecoming for anyone to accept the military 
oath of God and also that of man, or to range himself under the 
standard of Christ and also under that of the devil, or to bivouac 
in the camp of light and also in the camp of darkness; no soul 
can be indebted to both, to Christ and to the devil.” You point 
to the warriors of Israel, to Moses and Joshua, to the soldiers 
who came to John the Baptist, to the centurion who believed. 
But “subsequently the Lord disarmed Peter, and in so doing 
unbuckled the sword of every soldier. Even in peace it is not 
to be worn ” (xix.). 

Furthermore, in ordinary life a good deal must be entirely 
proscribed. One must abjure any phrase in which the gods are 
named. Thus one dare not say “ by Hercules,” or “as true as 
heaven ” (medius fidius), or use any similar expletive (xx.). And 
no one is tacitly to accept an adjuration addressed to himself, 
from fear of being recognised as a Christian if he demurs to it.? 
Every pagan blessing must be rejected ; accept it, and you are 
accursed of God. “It is a denial of God for anyone to 
dissemble on any occasion whatsoever and let himself pass for a 
pagan. All denial of God is idolatry, just as all idolatry is denial 
of God, be it in word or in deed” (xxi.-xxii.), Even the pledge 

1 “*T know one Christian who, on being publicly addressed during a law-suit 
with the words ‘Jove’s wrath be on you,’ answered, ‘Nay, on you.’” The 
unlawfulness of this answer, according to Tertullian, consisted, not simply in the 
malediction, but in the recognition of Jupiter which it implied. 


exacted from Christians as a guarantee when money is borrowed, 
is a denial of God, though the oath is not sworn in words (xxiii.). 

“Such are the reefs and shoals and straits of idolatry, amid 
which faith has to steer her course, her sails filled by the Spirit 
of God.” Yet after the close of the second century the large 
majority of Christians took quite another view of the situation, 
and sailed their ship with no such anxieties about her track.! 
Coarse forms of idolatry were loathed and severely punished, 
but during the age of Tertullian, at least, little attention was 
paid any longer to such subtle forms as were actually current. 
Moreover, when it suits his point to do so, Tertullian himself in 
the Apology meets the charge of criminal isolation brought 
against Christians, by boasting that “we share your voyages 
and battles, your agriculture and your trading” (xlii.), remarking 
in a tone of triumph that Christians are to be met with every- 
where, in all positions of state, in the army, and even in the 
senate. ‘ We have left you nothing but the temples.” Such 
was indeed the truth. The facts of the case show that 
Christians were to be found in every line of life,? and that 
troubles occasioned by one’s occupation must have been on the 
whole very rare (except in the case of soldiers; see below, Bk. 
IV. Ch. If.). Nor was the sharp criticism passed by Tatian, 
Tertullian, Hippolytus, and even (though for different reasons, 
of course) by Origen, upon the state as such, and upon civil 
relations, translated very often into practice. The kingdom of 

1 Read the second and third books of Clement’s Paedagogus. The author 
certainly does not belong to the lax party, but he does not go nearly the length of 
Tertullian. On the other hand, he lashes (Paed., III. xi. 80) mere ‘‘ Sunday 
Christianity”: ‘‘They drop the heavenly inspiration of the congregation when 
they leave the meeting-place, and become like the great majority with whom they 
associate. Or rather, in laying aside the affected and specious mask of solemnity, 
they show their real nature, undisguised. After listening reverently to the word 
of God, they leave what they have heard within the church itself, and go outside 
to amuse themselves in godless society with music,” etc. 

2 Of course, as Tertullian sarcastically observes (AZo/., xliii.), ‘‘ pimps, panders, 
assassins, poisoners and sorcerers, with sacrificial augurs, diviners, and astrologers, 
very reasonably complain of Christians being a profitless race!” As early as Acts 
xix. we read of tradesmen in Ephesus who lived by the cult of Diana feeling 
injured by Christians, 

3 Still, Ceecilius (in Min. Felix, viii.) describes Christians as a ‘‘natio in 
publico muta, in angulis garrula (a people tongue-tied in public, but talkative in 
corners), honores et purpuras despiciunt (despising honours and purple robes).” 


Christ, or the world-empire of the Stoics, or some platonic 
republic of Christian philosophy, might be played off against 
the existing state, as the highest form of social union intended 
by God, but all this speculation left life untouched, at least 
from the close of the second century onwards. The Paedagogus 
of Clement already furnishes directions for managing to live a 

Cp. Tatian, Orat., xi.: βασιλεύειν οὐ θέλω, πλουτεῖν οὐ βούλομαι, Thy στρατηγίαν 
παρῃτήμαι . . . . δοξομανίας ἀπήλλαγμαι (“1 have no desire to reign—no wish 
to be rich. I decline all leadership. . . . . Iam void of any frenzy for fame”) ; 
Speratus (in Martyr. Scz/.): ‘‘Ego imperium huius saeculi non cognosco” (*‘ of 
the kingdom of this world I know nothing”); Tertull., 4/o/., xlii, : ‘‘ Christianus 
nec aedilitatem affectat (‘‘the Christian has no ambition to be edile”), and his 
critique of Roman laws in chaps. iv.-vi. of the Apology. On the charge of 
‘*infructuositas in negotio ” (barrenness in affairs), see Tert., de Padlio, v., where 
all that is said of the pallium applies to Christians: ‘‘ Ego, inquit, nihil foro, 
nihil campo, nihil curiae debeo, nihil officio advigilo, nulla rostra praeoccupo, 
nulla praetoria observo, canales non odoro, cancellos non adoro, subsellia non 
contundo, iura non conturbo, causas non elatro, non iudico, non milito, non regno, 
secessi de populo. in me unicum negotium mihi est ; nisi aliud non curo quam ne 
curem, vita meliore magis in secessu fruare quam in promptu. sed ignavam 
infamabis, scilicet patriae et imperio reique vivendum est. erat olim ἰδία sententia. 
nemo alii nascitur moriturus 510], certe cum ad Epicuros et Zenones ventum est, 
sapientes vocas totum quietis magisterium, qui eam summae atque umicae 
voluptatis nomine consecravere,” etc. (‘‘I,” quoth the cloak, ‘‘I owe no duty to 
the forum, the hustings, or the senate-house. I keep no obsequious vigils, I 
haunt no platforms, I boast no great houses, I scent no cross-roads, I worship no 
lattices, I do not wear out the judicial bench, I upset no laws, I bark in no plead- 
ings at the bar ; no judge am I, no soldier, and no king. I have withdrawn from 
the people. My peculiar business is with myself. No care have I save to shun 
care. You, too, would enjoy a better life in retreat than in publicity. But you 
will decry me as indolent. ‘We must live,’ forsooth, ‘for country, empire, and 
estate.’ Well, our view prevailed in days gone by. None, it was said, is born 
for another’s ends, since to himself he is to die. At all events, when you come to 
the Epicureans and Zenos, you dub all the teachers of quietism ‘sages’; and they 
have hallowed quietism with the name of the ‘ unique’ and ‘supreme’ pleasure”). 
Afolog., xxxvili. f.: “‘Nec ulla magis res aliena quam publica... . unam 
omnium rempublicam agnoscimus, mundum (‘‘ Nothing is so alien to us as 
political affairs. .... We recognize but one universal commonwealth, viz., the 
universe”). On the absence of any home-feeling among Christians, see Diognet., 
ν. 5: πατρίδας οἰκοῦσιν ἰδίας, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς πάροικοι. μετέχουσι πάντων ws πολῖται, 
καὶ πάνθ᾽ ὑπομένουσιν ὡς ξένοι ᾿ πᾶσα ξένη πατρίς ἐστιν αὐτῶν, καὶ πᾶσα πατρὶς ξένη 
(‘‘They inhabit their own countries, but merely as sojourners; they share in 
everything as citizens and endure everything as strangers, Every foreign country 
is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign”); also Clem., Faed., 
iii, 8. 41: πατρίδα ἐπὶ γῆν οὐκ ἔχομεν (‘‘On earth we have no fatherland ”) ; 
Vita Polycarpt, vi.: παντὶ δούλῳ θεοῦ πᾶς ὃ κόσμος πόλις, πατρὶς δὲ ἣ ἐπουράνιος 
Ἱερουσαλήμ᾽ ἐνταῦθα δὲ παροικεῖν, GAA’ οὐ κατοικεῖν, ὧς ξένοι καὶ παρεπίδημοι 
τετάγμεθα (cp. also xxx.), Not without reason does Celsus (Ovdg., VIII. Ixviii.) 


ee ec) Sy Ὁ δ 


Christian life in the world. By the close of our period, the 
court, the civil service, and the army were full of Christians,! 

Still, it was significant, highly significant indeed, that gross 
and actual idolatry was combated to the bitter end. With it 
Christianity never came to terms.? 

remark to his Christian opponent: ‘‘ Were all to behave as you do, the emperor 
would ere long be left solitary and deserted, and the affairs of this world would 
presently fall into the hands of the most wild and lawless barbarians.” He pro- 
ceeds to point out that, in the event of this, Christianity would cease to exist, 
and that the Roman empire consequently was the support of Christianity. To 
which Christians replied that, on the contrary, it was they alone who upheld 
the empire, 

Between the second century and the third (the line may be drawn about 180 
A.D.) a vital change took place. In the former, Christians for the most part had 
the appearance of a company of people who shunned the light and withdrew from 
public life, an immoral, nefarious set who held aloof from actual life; in the 
third century, paganism, to its alarm, discovered in Christianity a foe which openly 
and energetically challenged it in every sphere, political, social, and religious. 
By this time the doctrine of Christianity was as familiar as its cultus, discipline, 
and organization ; and just as Christian basilicas rose everywhere after the reign 
of Gallienus beside the older temples, so Christians rose to every office in the 
state. So far as regards the civil and social status of Christianity, the period 
dating from 250 A.D. belongs on the whole to the fourth century rather than to 
the preceding age. 

1 It is not surprising that Origen proves the existence of a numerous class of 
Christians who believed everything, were devoted to the priests, and yet were 
destitute of any moral principle. What does surprise us is that he assigns heaven 
to them, simply because they were believers! (Hom. x. 1, 7#_Jesum Nave, vol. xi. 
p. 102, Hom, xx. I, pp. 182 f.). It is also significant, in this connection, that 
Augustine’s mother, Monica, was concerned about the adultery of her young son, 
but that she did not warn him about banquets till he became a Manichean (cp. 
Confess., iii. ). 

2 Nor did the sects of Christianity, with rare exceptions. In one or two cases 
the rarefied intellectualism and spiritual self-confidence of the gnostics made all 
external conduct, including any contact with idols, a matter of entire indifference, 
while open confession of one’s faith was held to be useless and, in fact, suicidal 
(cp. the polemic against this in Iren., iv. 33. 9; Clem., S¢vom., iv. 4. 16; and 
Tertull., Scorpiace adv, Gnost.), But the opponents of heresy taxed the gnostics in 
such cases also with a denial of their Christian position on principle, where no 
such denial existed whatsoever (cp. what has been said on Heracleon, p. 210), 
while at the same time they described the freer attitude of the gnostics towards the 
eating of sacrificial meat as an apostasy. 


How rich, then, and how manifold, are the ramifications of the 
Christian religion as it steps at the very outset on to pagan 
soil! And every separate point appears to be the main point ; 
every single aspect seems to be the whole! It is the preaching 
of God the Father Almighty (θεὸς πατὴρ παντοκράτωρ); of his 
Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the resurrection. It is the 
gospel of the Saviour and of salvation, of redemption and the 
new creation. It is the message of man becoming God. It is 
| the gospel of love and charity. It is the religion of the Spirit 
_ and power, of moral earnestness and holiness. It is the religion 
of authority and of an unlimited faith; and again, the religion 
_ of reason and of enlightened understanding. Besides that it 
is a religion of “mysteries.” It proclaims the origin of a new 
people, of a people which had existed in secret from the very 
beginning. It is the religion of a sacred book. It possessed, 
| nay, it was, everything that can possibly be considered as 

Christianity thus showed itself to be syncretistic. But it 
revealed to the world a special kind of syncretism, namely, the 
syncretism of a universal religion. Every force, every relation- 
ship in its environment, was mastered by it and made to serve 
its own ends—a feature in which the other religions of the 
Roman empire make but a poor, a meagre, and a narrow show. 
Yet, unconsciously, it learned and borrowed from many quarters ; 

_ indeed, it would be impossible to imagine it existing amid all 
the wealth and vigour of these religions, had it not drawn pith 
and flavour even from them. These religions fertilized the 



ground for it, and the new grain and seed which fell upon that 
soil sent down its roots and grew to be a mighty tree. Here is 
a religion which embraces everything. And yet it can always 
be expressed with absolute simplicity: one name, the name of 
Jesus Christ, still sums up everything. 

The syncretism of this religion is further shown by its faculty 
for incorporating the most diverse nationalities — Parthians, 
Medes and Elamites, Greeks and barbarians. It mocked at the 

barriers of nationality. While attracting to itself all popular | 
elements, it repudiated only one, viz., that of Jewish national- | 

asm. But this very repudiation was a note of universalism, 
for, although Judaism had been divested of its nationalism and 
already turned into a universal religion, its universalism had 
remained for two centuries confined to narrow limits. And 
how universal did Christianity show itself, in relation to the 
capacities and culture of mankind! Valentinus is a contem- 
porary of Hermas, and both are Christians; Tertullian and 
Clement of Alexandria are contemporaries, and both are teachers 
in the church ; Eusebius is a contemporary of St Antony, and 
both are in the service of the same communion. 

Even this fails to cover what may be termed “syncretism,” 
in the proper sense of the word. After the middle of the third 
century 4.D., Christianity falls to be considered as syncretistic 
religion! in the fullest sense ; as such it faced the two other syn- 
cretistic products of the age, Manicheanism and the Neoplatonic 
religion which was bound up with the sun-cult.2 Henceforward, 

1 One of my reviewers, de Grandmaison (in Ztudes, Rev. par les pores de la 
comp. de Jésus, vol. xcvi., 5th Aug. 1903, p. 317) asks, ‘‘ How can a syncretistic 
religion continue to be exclusive? That is what one fails to see.” But if it 
gives out as its own inherent possession whatever it has taken over and assimil- 
ated ; nay more, if it makes this part of its very being—why should it not be able 
to remain exclusive ? 

2 See my Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, Bd. 1.), pp. 766 f., 785 f. (Eng. 
trans., iii. 316 f.): ‘‘ Three great religious systems confronted each other in 
Western Asia and Southern Europe from the close of the third century : Meof/aton- 
ism, Catholicism, and Manicheanism, All three may be characterized as the final 
products of a history which had lasted for over a thousand years, the history of the 
religious development of the civilized nations from Persia to Italy. In all three 
the old national and particular character of religion was laid aside; they were 
world-religions of the most universal tendency, with demands whose consequences 
transformed the whole life of man, both public and private. For the national 


Christianity may be just as truly called a Hellenic religion as 
_ an Oriental, a native religion as a foreign. From the very 
_ outset it had been syncretistic upon pagan soil; it made its 
_ appearance, not as gospel pure and simple, but equipped with 
\ all that Judaism had already acquired during the course of its 

\long history, and entering forthwith upon nearly every task in 

\which Judaism was defective. Still, it was the middle of the 
third century that first saw the new religion in full bloom as 
the syncretistic religion par excellence, and yet, for all that, as 
an exclusive religion. As a church, it contained everything the 
age could proffer, a powerful priesthood, with a high priest and 
subordinate clergy, a priesthood which went back to Christ and 
the apostles, and led bishops to glory in their succession and 
apostolic ordination. Christianity possessed every element in- 
cluded in the conception of “ priesthood.” Its worship and its 
sacraments together represented a real energy of the divine 
nature. ‘The world to come and the powers of an endless life 

cultus they substituted a system which aspired to be at once a theology, a theory 
of the universe, and a science of history, while at the same time it embraced a 
definite ethic and a ritual of worship, Formally, therefore, all these religions 
were alike ; they were also alike in this, that each had appropriated the elements 
of different older religions. Further, they showed their similarity in bringing to 

the front the ideas of revelation, redemption, ascetic virtue, and immortality, But 

Neoplatonism was natural religion spiritualized, the polytheism of Greece trans- 
figured by Oriental influences and developed into pantheism. Catholicism was 
the monotheistic world-religion based on the Old Testament and the gospel, but 
built up with the aid of Hellenic speculation and ethics, Manicheanism was the 
dualistic world-religion, resting on Chaldzism, but interspersed with Christian, 
Parsi, and perhaps Buddhist ideas. Manicheanism lacked the Hellenic element, 
while Catholicism almost entirely lacked the Chaldee and Persian. Here are 
three world-religions developing in the course of two centuries (ς, A.D. 50-250), 
Catholicism coming first and Manicheanism last. Both of these were superior to 
Neoplatonism, for the very reason that the latter had no founder; it therefore 
developed no elemental force, and never lost the character of being an artificial 
creation, Attempts were made to zvent a founder for it, but naturally they 
came to nothing. Yet, even apart from its contents as a religion, Catholicism was 
superior to Manicheanism, because its founder was venerated, not merely as the 
bearer of revelation, but as the redeemer in person and the Son of God.” These 
three syncretistic religions all opposed the imperial cultus. Christianity was its 
only open foe, for the Neoplatonic religion of the sun was indeed designed to 
confirm it. Yet Neoplatonism also proved a foe to it, by transferring religion to 
the inward life. This cut at the roots of the fiapetial cultus. It was a supreme 
delusion on the part of Julian to imagine that he could link political religion with 
the Neoplatonic religion of the sun. 


were in operation in the cultus, and through it upon the world ; 
they could be laid hold of and appropriated in a way that was 
at once spiritual and corporeal. 'To believers, Christianity dis- 
closed all that was ever embraced under the terms “revealed 
knowledge,” “ mysteries,” and “cultus.” In its doctrine it had 
incorporated everything offered by that contemporary syncretism 
which we have briefly described (pp. 30 f.). And while it 
certainly was obliged to re-arrange this syncretism and correct 
it in some essential points, upon the whole it did appropriate 
tlhe system. In the doctrinal system of Origen which dominated 
thoughtful Christians in the East during the second half of the 
third century, the combination of the gospel and of syncretism 
is, a fait accompli. Christianity possessed in a more unsullied 
form the contents of what is meant by “the Greek philosophy 
of religion.”! Powerful and vigorous, assured of her own dis- 
ποῦν character, and secure from any risk of being dissolved 
into contemporary religions, she believed herself able now to 
deal more generously and complaisantly with men, provided 
only that they would submit to her authority. Her missionary 
methods altered slowly but significantly in the course of the 
third century. Gregory Thaumaturgus, who shows himself a 
pupil of Origen in his religious philosophy with its comprehen- 
sive statement of Christianity, but who, as a Hellenist, excels 
his master, accommodated himself as a bishop in a truly sur- 
prising way to the pagan tendencies of those whom he converted, 
We shall hear of him later on. Saints and intercessors, who 
_ were thus semi-gods, poured into the church.? Local cults and 

1 The philosophy of religion which men like Posidonius and Philo founded, 
and which culminated in Neoplatonism, was rounded off by the Christian 
philosophy of religion which developed until the beginning of the third century. 
Its final statement was given by Origen. It led to an alarming increase of dulness | 
towards the reality of the senses and fostered an indiscriminate attitude towards life, 
but it deepened the inner life and modified the philosophical conception of God 
by introducing the doctrine of creation. The idea of the Incarnation was also 
brought within the range of speculation, and even at the present day there are 
many distinguished thinkers who venture to see in that idea the distinctive worth 
of the Christian religion as well as its main significance for the history of the 
human spirit. The contest with the materialists, the sceptics, and the Epicureans 
was waged by the apologists, especially by Origen and Dionysius of Alexandria. 

2 The habit of seeking oracular hints from the Scriptures is part and parcel of 
this movement. So far as I know, the earliest evidence for it comes from the 



holy places were instituted. The different provinces of life were 
distributed afresh among guardian spirits. The old gods re- 
turned ; only, their masks were new. Annual festivals were 
noisily celebrated. Amulets and charms, relics and bones of the 
saints, were cherished eagerly.1_ And the very religion which erst- 
while in its strictly spiritual temper had prohibited and resisted 
any tendency towards materialism, now took material shape 
in every one of its relationships. It had mortified the world 
and nature. But now it proceeded to revive them, not of course 
in their entirety, but still in certain sections and details, and— 
what is more—in phases that were dead and repulsive. Miracles 

fourth century, but it is certainly later than that period. Cp Aug., Zfzst. lv. 37: 
‘* Hi qui de paginis evangelicis sortes legunt, etsi optandum est, ut hoc potius faciant 
quam ad daemonia concurrant, tamen etiam ista mihi displicet comswetudo, | ad 
negotia saecularia et ad vitae huius vanitatem propter aliam vitam loquentia oracula 
divina velle convertere” (‘‘ As for those who read fortunes out of the pages of the 
gospel, though it were better they should do this than betake themselves to the 
demons, still, I dislike the custom of trying to turn divine oracles which speak of 
another life into counsels upon secular affairs and the vanity of this life”). This, 
however, is more lax than the attitude of Hermas (J/and., xi.) towards the false 
prophets. Cp., too, the famous “‘ tolle, lege ” of Augustine’s own history. 

1 The question is not what amount of mythology, superstition, and sacramental- 
ism the church took over, but rather what was the result of its borrowings, and 
what it did not borrow. In regard to the first point, we have to reckon not only 
with the amount of analogous ideas and practices current here and there from the 
very first within the churches (for, of course, the fact that here or there a few 
Syrians were converted, does not mean that the entire cast of things was Syrian, 
any more than the incorporation of Greek converts means a peculiarly Hellenic 
tinge), but with the problem, When were such ideas and practices consecrated by the 
church and admitted to public use, or to public expression in prayer and doctrine 
(in a city, in a province, or throughout the entire church)? The story of this 
process remains to be written, and it can only be written in part. Besides, many 
elements came in side by side from the very first. Yet we can explain in certain 
cases, perhaps, when definite pieces of pagan mythology and ritual were taken 
over into the public representation of the church’s religion, with the requisite 
alterations of their garb. The answer to such problems, however, needs to be 
sought with much more caution and care than is usual at present. Attempts to 
refer the primitive Christian Sabbath and Lord’s supper, and the doctrines of the 
virgin birth, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension, etc., to the influence 
of a definite pagan origin (whether obscure or open), seem to me radically unsound 
and as yet entirely unsuccessful. (How these institutions and ideas came into 
existence at so early a period is another question.) Generally, we may say that.if 
the catholic churches and not individual gnostic circles are kept in view (though 
even this distinction may be disputed), the fundamental principles of the idealistic 
philosophy were received, only to be followed by mythology and ritual. As for the 
second point, the most important thing is to determine for how long and with what 




in the churches became more numerous, more external, and more , 
coarse. Whatever fables the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles ) 
had narrated, were dragged into contemporary life and predi- 
cated of the living present. 

This church, whose religion Porphyry blamed for its audacious 
critique of the universe, its doctrine of the incarnation,’ and its 
assertion of the resurrection of the flesh 2—this church laboured 
at her mission in the second half of the third century, and she 
won the day. But had she been summoned to the bar and asked 
what right she had to admit these novelties, she could have 

strenuousness the church resisted astrology, the deadly foe of morals and religion. 
Anyone who will consider the influence of astrology during the imperial period, 
when the natural sciences had in general decayed, its knack of assuming the garb 
of science, its widespread diffusion, and its adaptation to the active and passive 
moods of the age, will be able to appreciate aright the resistance offered by the 
church (for gnosticism in this department too was pretty defenceless). Here we 
recognise a great achievement of the church. Schiirer, in his recent essay on the 
seven-day week of the church during the first centuries (Zezts. f. die neutest. Wiss., 
vi., 1905, pp. I f., 43 f.), has thoroughly investigated the position of the church 
towards astrology. In the second century, practically nothing was heard of it; 
z.é., it was attacked as pagan pseudo-science, as bad as polytheism, or worse. 
In the third century it raised its head within the church. In the fourth, it had to be 
sharply refuted. The theologians of the church always condemned it with 
indignation, but after the third century they no longer controlled the Christian 
communities, and they could not prevent it filtering in, and permeating alike the 
ideas and the speech of the people. 

1 Cp, the pagan in Macarius Magnes, IV. xxii. : εἰ δὲ καὶ τις τῶν Ἑλλήνων οὕτω 
κοῦφος τὴν γνώμην, ὡς ἐν τοῖς ἀγάλμασιν ἔνδον οἰκεῖν νομίζειν τοὺς θεούς, πολλῷ 
καθαρώτερον εἶχεν τὴν ἔννοιαν τοῦ πιστεύοντος ὅτι εἰς τὴν γαστέρα Μαρίας τῆς 
παρθένον εἰσέδυ τὸ θεῖον, ἔμβρυόν τε ἐγένετο καὶ τεχθὲν ἐσπαργανώθη, μεστὸν 
αἵματος χόριον καὶ χολῆς καὶ τῶν ἔτι πολλῷ τούτων ἀτοπώτερον (“Α Greek might 
be silly enough to believe that the gods dwelt in their shrines, but he would at least 
be more reverent than the man who believes that the deity entered the womb of 
the Virgin Mary, became an embryo, was born and swaddled as from the foetus full 
of blood and bile and all the rest of it”’), 

5 The points of agreement between Celsus and Origen are already striking and 
instructive, although Celsus’s was not a religious nature; still more striking are 
the points of agreement between Porphyry and the Oriental church-teachers of his 
age. Porphyry’s acute criticism of the gospels (especially the Fourth gospel), 
which is at many points quite justified, as well as of the apostle Paul, with whom 
he had little sympathy, cannot blind us to the fact that, apart from these three 
points, he was substantially of oe mind with the Christians, and that he and they 
breathed the same religious atmosphere. The main point of difference lay in the 
fact that he reverently combined the entire universe with the Godhead, refusing to 
separate the Godhead from it, although he hated ‘‘the garment spotted by the 
flesh ” as thoroughly as did the Christian teachers, 



replied, “I am not to blame. I have only developed the germ 
which was planted in my being from the very first!” This 
religion was the first to cut the ground from under the feet of 
all other religions, and by means of her religious philosophy, as a 
civilizing power, to displace ancient philosophy.! But the reasons 
for the triumph of Christianity in that age are no guarantee for. 
the permanence of that triumph throughout the history of man- 
kind. Such a triumph rather depends upon the simple elements 
of the religion, on the preaching of the living God as the Father 
of men, and on the representation of Jesus Christ. For that 
very reason it depends also on the capacity of Christianity to 
strip off repeatedly such a collective syncretism and unite itself to 
fresh coefficients. The Reformation made a beginning in this 

1 Cp. the question started by Henrici in his Das Urchristenthum (1902), p. 3. 

ee Ee ee ee Σ τ 






Brrore entering upon the subject proper, let us briefly survey 
the usage of the term “ apostle,” in its wider and narrower senses, 
throughout the primitive Christian writings.1 

1. In Matthew, Mark, and John, “apostle” is not a special 
and distinctive name for the inner circle of the disciples of Jesus. 
These are almost invariably described as “the twelve,”” or the 

1 Though it is only apostles of Christ who are to be considered, it may be 
observed that Paul spoke (2 Cor. viii. 23) of ἀπόστολοι ἐκκλησιῶν, and applied 
the title ‘‘ apostle of the Philippians” to Epaphroditus, who had conveyed to him 
a donation from that church (Philip. ii. 25). In Heb. iii. 1 Jesus is called ‘‘ the 
apostle and high-priest of our confession,” But in John xiii, 16 ‘‘ apostle” is 
merely used as an illustration: οὐκ ἔστι δοῦλος μείζων τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ, οὐδὲ 
ἀπόστολος μείζων τοῦ πέμψαντος αὐτόν. For the literature on this subject, see my 
edition of the Didaché ( 7exte τε. Untersuchungen, vol. ii., 1884) and my Dogmen- 
geschichte 1.5 (1894), pp. 153 f. [Eng. trans., vol. 1. pp. 212 f.], Seufert on Der 
Ursprung und die Bedeutung des Apostolats in d. Christliche Kirche (1887), Weiz- 
sicker’s Der Apost. Zeitalter” (1892, s.v.), Zahn’s Skizzen aus dem Leben der alten 
Kirche® (1898), p. 338, Haupt on Zum Verstindnisse des Apostolats im N.T. 
(1896), Wernle’s Αγ γερο unserer Religion? (1904), and Monnier’s La notion de 
δ᾽ Apostolat des origines a Trénée (1903). 

? Matt. x. 5, xx. 17, xxvi. 14, 47; Mark (iii. 14), iv. 10, vi. 7, ix. 35, x. 32, 
Xi. 11, xiv, 10, 17, 20, 43; John vi. 67, 70, 71, xx. 24. 



twelve disciples. As may be inferred from Matt. xix. 28, the 
choice of this number probably referred to the twelve tribes of 
Israel.?. In my opinion the fact of their selection is historical, as 
is also the tradition that even during his lifetime Jesus once 
despatched them to preach the gospel, and selected them with 
that end in view. At the same time, the primitive church 
honoured them pre-eminently not as apostles but as the twelve 
disciples (chosen by Jesus). In John they are never called the 
apostles ;? in Matthew they are apparently called “the twelve 
apostles” (x. 2) once, but this reading is a correction, Syr. Sin. 
giving “disciples.” At one place Mark writes “the apostles” 
(vi. 30), but this refers to their temporary missionary labours 
during the life of Jesus. All three evangelists are thus ignorant 
_of “apostle” as a designation of the twelve: there is but one 
instance where the term is applied to them ad hoc.® 

2. With Paul it is quite otherwise. He never employs the 
term “ the twelve” (for in 1 Cor. xy. 5 he is repeating a formula 
of the primitive church),® but confines himself to the idea of 
“apostles.” His terminology, however, is not unambiguous on 
this point. 

1 Matt. x. i, xi. I, xxvi. 20,—Add further the instances in which they are called 
** the eleven ” (Mark xvi. 14) or ‘‘the eleven disciples ” (Matt. xxviii. 16). 

2 This is explicitly stated in Barn. 8: οὖσιν δεκαδύο εἰς μαρτύριον τῶν φυλῶν 
ὅτι ιβ΄ ai φυλαὶ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ (‘‘ They are twelve for a testimony to the tribes, for 
there are twelve tribes in Israel”), 

3 This is a remarkable fact. In the Johannine epistles ‘‘ apostle” never occurs 
at all. Yet these letters were composed by a man who, whatever he may have 
been, claimed and exercised apostolic authority over a large number of the 
churches, as is plain from the third epistle (see my study of it in the fifteenth 
volume of the 7exte und Untersuchungen, part 3). More on this point afterwards. 

4 Not ‘‘the twelve” pure and simple. Elsewhere the term, “the twelve 
apostles,” occurs only in Apoc. xxi. 14, and there the ‘‘ twelve ” is not superfluous, 
as the Apocalypse uses ‘‘ apostle” in a more general sense (see below). 

ὅ The phrasing of Mark iii. 14 (ἐποίησεν δώδεκα ἵνα dow μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἵνα 
ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια) corresponds 
to the original facts of the case. The mission (within Israel) was one object of 
their election from the very first ; see, further, the saying upon “fishers of men” 
(Mark i. 17).—In this connection we must also note those passages in the gospel 
where ἀποστέλλειν is used, z.¢., where it is applied by Jesus to his own commissions 
and to the disciples whom he commissions (particularly John xx. 21, καθὼς 
ἀπέσταλκέν με 6 πατὴρ, κἄγω πέμπω ὑμᾶ:). 

6 From the absence of the term ‘‘twelve” in Paul, one might infer (despite the 
gospels) that it did not arise till later ; 1 Cor. xv. 5, however, proyes the reyerse. 


(a) He calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ, and lays the 
greatest stress upon this fact.1_ He became an apostle, as alone one 
could, through God (or Christ); God called him and gave him 
his apostleship,? and his apostleship was proved by the work he 
did and by the way in which he did it.* 

(ὁ) His fellow-missionaries—e.g., Barnabas and Silvanus—are 
also apostles ; not so, however, his assistants and pupils, such as 
Timothy and Sosthenes.* 

(c) Others also—probably, e.g., Andronicus and Junias °— 
are apostles. In fact, the term cannot be sharply restricted 
at all; for as God appoints prophets and teachers “in the 
church,” so also does he appoint apostles to be the front rank 

1 See the opening of all the Pauline epistles, except 1 and 2 Thess., Philippians 
and Philemon; also Rom. i. 5, xi. 13, 1 Cor. iv. 9, ix. 1 f., xv. 9 f., 2 Cor. xii. 
12, Gal. i. 17 (ii. 8), It may be doubted whether, in 1 Cor. iv. 9 (δοκῶ, 6 θεὸς 
ἡμᾶς tors ἀποστόλους ἐσχάτους ἀπέδειξεν ὡς ἐπιθανατίους),